Independent Schools Association of Malawi (Isama) has shelved it’s earlier plans of holding nationwide demonstrations have written government requesting for financial assistance aimed at bailing out some schools which are on the blink of closure due to failure to pay it’s teacher.
Isama president, Joseph Patel disclosed this on Tuesday when directors and private school owners met on Monday in Mzuzu to map the way forward in the context of Covid-19 pandemic.
Patel said they have shelved their earlier arrangements of staging demonstrations having put their concerns in writing to the relevant authority.
“We have already written government to consider bailing us out from the financial difficult times which came about as a result of unexpected closure of schools of 23rd March, we are now waiting for a response to the request we have made,” Patel said.
In a separate interview the proprietor of Wukani Private Schools, Sophie Mwase expressed uncertainty as to whether some teachers will return to their respective teaching schools having been totally frustrated due to non-payment of their monthly salaries.
“We have really struggled to pay our teachers, and am not sure if frustrated as they are that they might consider returning to their respective schools which is likely going to compromise the quality of education in most designated schools,” Mwase said.
Meanwhile, Isama’s executive committee will soon meet to prepare for the District, Regional and National elective general conferences where all those who have already served their consecutive two terms in office will not be eligible to contest including the incumbent president, Joseph Patel.
Independent School’s Association of Malawi (Isama) is seeking about K3.8 billion bailout from government to pay teachers’ salaries for March and April, saying they are unable to do so due to closure of schools as a measure to contain Covid-19.
But some few days ago education activist Benedicto Kondowe described Isama’s demand as unreasonable “considering that private schools are a businesses.
He said if government has such money it should be directed towards other needy sectors within the education sector.
“Why should they ask for such bailout? If government does that then every business will seek bailout and this will create chaos,” said Kondowe. adding that like other businesses, Isama ought to think of other alternatives instead of putting pressure on the public purse.
Meanwhile, the education Minister, Susuwele Banda is on record having met the leadership of Isama on the matter but was quick to point out that resources are a challenge as there are a number of competing needs from other sectors as well such as schools whose student sit for international exams.