About 6, 600 newly recruited teachers have gone five months without receiving their salaries, a situation that might affect pupils as some teachers have down tools in protest.
Acting Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Manfred Ndovi, confirmed the development in an interview.
“Of the 10,000 teachers recruited by our ministry in May, we managed to put about 2, 800 on the pay roll by September this year,” said Ndovi.
Ndovi said 9, 400 teachers reported for duty by September and they were supposed to get their salaries as soon as they were recruited, but the ‘process of putting them on pay roll was very cumbersome’.
“We have been let down by the process as it involves district offices, the Treasury, the Department of Human Resource and our ministry,” he explained.
In Blantyre Rural, 149 primary school teachers have threatened to lay down tools by Wednesday if authorities fail to pay them their dues.
Almost 35 teachers presented a formal letter to the District Commissioner for Blantyre on 13 November, 2014 in which they demanded their salaries.
“As newly recruited teachers, we are demanding salaries which have not been paid since May, 2014.
Failing to respond to our demands by Wednesday, November 19, 2014 will lead to down tools, until you meet our demand,” reads part of the letter.
District Education Manager for Blantyre Rural, Paul Chiphanda, said in an interview that he was aware of the situation.
“I sympathise with them as they dedicate themselves to teaching our children when they have not been paid,” said Chiphanda.
The DEM said teachers are paid by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the situation was almost similar across the country because the process of recruiting new teachers was a long one.
“It’s very unfortunate because this in turn affects the learners who already have few teachers at their disposal,” he added.