As the 2015/2016 new academic year commenced yesterday, special need teachers in the country have started boycotting their duties forcing the government to promote them.
Chairperson for special need teachers in the country Vincent Somanje told Malawi Muslims Website that the government has been deceiving them for more than 11 years now.
Somanje further said they made an agreement with the government through the Ministry of Education that if these teachers are not promoted by the current academic year, they should do anything forcing the government to fulfill the agreement.
“It is true that we have started conducting the strike from today, we have done this in order to force the government to implement the agreement we made before, unfortunately government has done nothing up to date and we agreed that come 7 September without our promotions, we should put down our tools so have started,” Somanje confirmed.
This has happened even though the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology through its spokesperson Manfred Ndobvi asked them to go back to their work saying that government does not have enough vacancies which can accommodate all those teachers who graduated in diploma program for their profession but Somanje insisted that they will resume their work after receiving the promotion letters.
“Of course the government asked us to go back to our offices but we want to assure them that we are ready to start teaching after being promoted, otherwise we will not accept that since we have been discussing with the government for more than four years now but nothing tangible is coming out,” said the Chairperson.
Asked if they are expecting any positive results from this strike, Somanje said; “ I don’t know; because the learners belong to the government and nobody can say that we are denying them their right to education for these special need learners but it’s the government which is denying them this right to education for them and we are asking the government to do something immediately on this issue since we are ready. If we receive the promotion letters, it means we can start teaching the same day,” he said
However Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) has refuted the allegations that they made that conformity with the government and has condemned these teachers for the strike since the union is having some discussions with the government on the same issue.
TUM general secretary Dennis Kalekeni told Malawi Muslims Website that it was not in order for the special needs teachers to boycott their jobs because government is working on their grievances.
“We are aware of that and the union has been handling that issue with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology and we are doing anything possible and very soon they will know the way forward of this issue, let me agree with them that there is some sort of delays but that was so because there was a certain problem which caused this delays but now everything is right and we will communicate with them soon,” concluded Kalekeni