Malawi: COVID-19 Hits Private Schools As Teachers Risk Not Being Paid

The global impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has continued to strike hard and the education sector the impact has also hit hard most especially on the private schools payrolls.

Teaching at Maranatha International Academy had to be suspended after government ordered all schools to close

Most private schools in Malawi fully depend on the operations of the school to generate revenue to meet teachers salaries and other operational costs.

Private school owners have revealed that teachers may have to go without salaries should the situation of schools remaining closed take longer, because the institutions depend on the tuition and other schools fees to pay their staff salaries.

Maranatha Academy director, Ernest Kaonga said in an interview that as long as parents do not pay the school fees for their children or wards, most private schools cannot afford to pay salaries to teachers.

"For us in the private schools sector, money for salaries comes from the school fees, some parents pay monthly or have payment plans, so if no fees are paid, we don't have adequate resources to pay our teachers as well, unfortunately we are not like in the United States of America - USA were some aid packages to the private sector have been announced," he said.

"Teachers are home right now, and there is no pay for them because there is nowhere to get the money from most of the private schools. Unless if we could get some loans from somewhere, then we can be able to give the teachers something to sustain them, but now most f the private schools have nowhere to get money," he said.

Kaonga further said it has been so rough on the side of income for the schools and that most private schools are in the same shoes.

"The Covid-19 impact is really so hard, we do not know when the situation will normalize," added Kaonga.

He also said that while it is a good move to close the schools in an effort to fight the deadly virus, it is unfortunate that the economy will suffer the worst consequences in terms of income to especially for private Schools.

"For me all am praying for is that this situation gets to an end quickly before affecting the next pay day for our teachers, because for now we cannot comment on the way forward for the teachers, because it is too early and we don't even know how long the shutdown of schools will take," he said.

Meanwhile, Maranatha Academy has intensified in e-learning programmes as one way to keep students not only from the school active.

The students are required to pay K15,000 to enrol for online learning.

More From: Nyasa Times

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