The Teachers Union of Malawi [TUM] is advising all primary and secondary school teachers and Teachers Training Colleges [TTC] lectures that from Monday 22nd February 2021 they will start holding a nationwide industrial strike due to government’s failure to resolve teachers grievances.
The Minister of Education Hon. Agness NyaLonje announced that all schools in Malawi will be re–open on Monday 22nd February 2021 after the Presidential Committee on Covid-19 assessed that Covid-19 positives are now declining.
On Friday, Concerned Teachers across the country held peaceful demonstrations demanding Government to pay them risk allowances and procure personal protective equipment to all public schools teachers before schools are re–open.
In the capital city, Lilongwe, police dispersed concerned teachers that had gathered at the Lilongwe Community Centre ground in preparation for a demonstration arguing that the teachers did not seek permission to hold demos.
In a letter dated 19th February 2021 addressed to the Secretary for Education and Local Government respectively signed by its President, Willie Malimba, says TUM has done its best to engage government in negotiations as one way of avoiding industrial action, but government has taken these meetings as casual and for granted.
TUM says it will only call off the strike upon government’s commitment to provide Covid-19 risk allowances and personal protective equipment to all teachers in the public schools and Teacher Training Colleges.
……”TUM wishes to emphasize that Government takes full responsibility of the aftermath of this industrial action through its negligence in dealing with these matters with the urgency they deserve.’’……reads the letter in part.
According to TUM, Government is failing to provide teachers with Covid-19 risk allowances, personal protective equipment to all public teachers in Malawi and erect tents in schools in order to reduce class sizes, recruit and deploy IPTE 13 and 14 teachers to reduce teacher/ learner ratio in classes as one way of reducing Covid -19 risk.
By Vincent Gunde