Leader of opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, on Monday backed teacher’s demands for risk allowance as schools reopen after about six months break amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Nankhumwa’s support came as schools have reopened on Monday starting with examination classes.
Speaking in parliament on Monday, Nankhumwa said it is unfortunate that some people in high risk profession such as prison warders and health personnel have been given risk allowances yet teachers who are also at risk are being denied the same.
Nankhumwa said: “Schools have just been opened and teachers have been asking for risk allowances but government has not yet responded their grievances so I was just asking the authorities to consider the teacher’s plight since they are also at risk.”
He however expressed hope that government will take his request on board.
On September 1, a grouping calling itself Concerned teachers drawn across the country, led by Stafuel Chitukuta, held a news conference in Lilongwe challenging government to come clearly on amount of risk allowance teachers will received when schools reopen, and threatened to go on strike if their demands fail to materialize.
The grouping said they were just complementing on what their mother body, Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) has been advancing.
During a news conference in Lilongwe on August 28, where also the announcement of reopening of schools was made, Principle Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chikondano Musa, said government is engaging other relevant authorities to ably come up with a resolution of teachers’ call for risk allowance.
Meanwhile examination classes have resumed on Monday as the teachers’ risk allowance issue is yet to be addressed.