Come out Clear on MERP, Auxiliary Teachers Urge Govt
Some auxiliary teachers in the country have renewed their call for the government to come out clear on the future of a four-year K215 billion ($210 million) World Bank financed Malawi Education Reform Programme (MERP) since they are stranded in schools after the expiry of the Covid-19 related contracts.
On Friday, auxiliary teacher at Naotcha Primary school in Blantyre, Grace Chinyama, Talent Loti in Thyolo and Mary Banda from Chiradzulu accused the government of playing hide and seek on the matter since after the expiry of the previous contract, authorities are not coming out clear on the new contract.
They feel their future in the program hangs in balance as the government is yet to provide them with forms to sign for the new contracts, adding some School Management Committees (SMCs) have already started asking them to leave the schools.
"After the expiry of the Covid-19 related contract, we were told to look for the space in the schools, but later we just heard that the process was halted due to the reasons we do not know. So, we want to know the government' stand now or if it is true that the MERP was suspended.
"We are really suffering and stranded here. We are failing to make ends meet in the areas. Worse still, some school committees have started forcing us out," said Chinyama
However, Deputy Minister of Education Monica Chang'anamuno told Zodiak Online that the recruitment process of 3,500 Auxiliary Teachers under the World Bank financed Malawi Education Reform Programme (MERP) is at an advanced stage.
Chang'anamuno says that the program is targeting the teachers that re-applied for the new project after the expiry of the Covid-19 related contract.
"The contracts are ending for the teachers that we hired on the Covid-19 measures. But now the next project is totally different that is why they were told to re-apply. And the project is going to start soon and those that applied are going to be taken on board," Chang'anamuno said.
MERP follows the phasing out of the Covid-19 related auxiliary teachers’ contract on 31 July this year due to unavailability of funds.
Meanwhile, some teachers think the best way is to just employ them permanently considering that the teacher ratio remains wide in the country. Hundreds of teachers under several cohorts of the Initial Primary Teacher Education (IPTE) are yet to be absorbed in the service.