2 June 2014

Malawi: ODL Trainee Teachers Go Two Months Unpaid

Nsanje — It has established that the country's Open and Distance Learning (ODL) trainee teachers have gone two months without getting their monthly allowances, Malawi News Agency (Mana) can reveal.

The ODL trainee teachers, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said they have not been paid the April and May allowances.

"We are surprised that authorities are sitting on our allowances. As per the agreement with the Ministry of Education, we are supposed to receive a monthly allowance to cater for our basic necessities.

"How can we survive in the wake of rising cost of living without the money? We are struggling to make ends meet due to the Ministry's non-payment of our allowances," said the concerned ODL teachers.

The trainee teachers claimed they were told by the college official that the donors stopped supporting the programme and that the Ministry of Education was responsible for it.

"We were told by the college officials that donors had stopped supporting our trainings that includes payment of our allowances. Our college officials told us that the Ministry of Education is the one responsible for payment of our allowances," they claimed.

Therefore, the disgruntled trainee teachers blamed the Ministry of Education for failing to discharge their allowances per training guidelines.

"We feel the Ministry of Education is not helping us. It is our plea that they should address the problem once and for all," they urged.

Kasungu Teachers Training College Bursar and Administrator, Henry Kambizi acknowledged to have failed to pay the teachers allowances for the months of April and May attributing the problem to lack of funding from the treasury.

"Is is true that ODL trainee teachers have not been receiving their allowances as we have had no funding from the Treasury. We are yet to be communicated the reasons behind the failure to provide funding," explained Kambizi.

However, Kambizi refused to comment on assertions that government is failing to disburse the funding following donors' withdrawal from supporting the ODL programme as alleged by the trainee teachers.

Ministry of Finance publicist, Nations Msowoya said the ministry has been approving funds for the Ministry of Education.

"Ministry of education has been receiving funding from the treasury however the allocation to specific areas is done at ministry level. We are not involved in that as finance ministry or treasury, so you have to consult ministry of education officials," Msowoya said.

Ministry of Education spokesperson, Rebecca Phwitiko asked for more time to consult on the matter.

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