Commission admits error in teachers’ promotion

The Local Government Service Commission has admitted that the recent promotion of over 20 000 secondary and primary school teachers to different grades was marred by irregularities.

In a memo dated April 12 2019, sent to district councils, the commission’s executive secretary Juvensius Kumpata admits the error and further advises district education managers (DEMs) to consider putting deserving teachers on the list.

Teachers during a previous protest for promotions and increments

“As you are aware, government sanctioned direct promotion of longest serving primary school teachers to their next grade with effect from 2nd April 2019. It has, however, been observed that there are some anomalies that have been identified with the promotions,” the memo reads in apart.

When contacted yesterday to clarify how the anomalies occurred and how the commission will ensure the error is not repeated, Kumpata refused to comment.

But in a separate interview, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) Principal Secretary Justin Saidi said officials are working to correct the system to avoid a repeat.

He said: “We have identified the problem and we are correcting it. We will not have the same problem in future.”

Saidi argued that the process of promoting teachers took almost two years, which could have led to names of dead, dismissed and even retired teachers being on the list.

Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) secretary general Charles Kumchenga said in an interview they hope to work with government to avoid a repeat of the mistake.

He said: “Teachers are coming to our offices in large numbers to fill forms. We are currently removing names of those who died from teachers register.”

The promotions followed pressure from TUM and Civil Society on Education Coalition (Csec) for government to promote 40 000 teachers, but government only promoted half the recommended number.

While welcoming the development early this month, Csec executive director Benedicto Kondowe denounced government for delaying to promote teachers.

In 2013, government promoted about 13 000 teachers, but no promotions were effected again until this month.

Of the 20 000 promoted this year, 15 491 primary school teachers have been promoted to grades K, J, I  and H while 4 719 secondary school teachers have been  promoted to grades J, I, G and F.

The error was identified a few days after government effected promotions as scores of those who were omitted complained of the irregularity.

Some of those who were left  claimed to have for worked as long as 25 years without any promotion.

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