Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) president Chauluka Muake has denied allegations that teachers were involved in organising pupils to take to the street during the strike by civil servants two weeks ago.
Muwake said the pupils decided to march on their own.
“When teachers were told to go on strike, we instructed them to go to their work places and simply sit without working. In that scenario, children can do anything which they want. What Iam saying is that children were only claiming their right and nothing else,” Muwake told Capital Fm on Sunday.
He further played down reports that teachers instructed pupils to act the way they acted.
“If there is a teacher who did that, somebody should give out the name so that we follow up on that one,” he said.
Speaking during the same programme, Eye of the Child Executive Director, Maxwell Matewere, condemned the teacher’s failure to control the pupils’ action.
According to Matewere, teachers are expected to control pupils at all times especially in such tense situations where the lives of children would be in danger.
“The teachers did not help matters. If they had the consciousness of protecting and ensuring that the children are safe as entrusted by parents, the best way was for them to instruct the children to go back home for their own safety,” he observed.
Pupils from some primary schools in Blantyre and Lilongwe went on rampage in protest against their teachers’ sit in which was part of a strike staged by civil servants.
Some of the pupils went to privately-owned Joyce Banda Foundation School in Blantyre where they interrupted classes.
President Banda and some cabinet ministers have claimed the pupils went on the street at the instigation of politicians.