TUM hails Ministry of Education for launching ‘Code of Conduct’
Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) has said the launch of the ‘Teachers Code of Conduct’ is a milestone in the education sector because it will help in achieving a healthy working environment.
TUM’s Secretary General, Charles Kumchenga made these remarks Monday in Lilongwe during the launch of the first ever code of conduct.
“The coming of this code of conduct will give us the dos and don’ts, this document is well balanced and it will create a healthy working environment and bring sanity in the education sector.
“On behalf of all teachers across Malawi, TUM is very confident with this document because we were party to the formulation of this code of conduct. Time has come when we can have a reference on how to do some things or not,” he said.
According to Kumchenga, the code of conduct which has seven parts has spelled out real issues on common misconducts including, the duties of a teacher, conduct of a teacher, common acts of misconduct, disciplinary procedure, penalties, enforcing the code of conduct, rights of a teacher and finally responsibilities of an employer.
‘Acts of misconduct attract penalties depending on their gravity or seriousness. The penalties are highlighted under a number of laws regulations such as Employment Act…’ reads in part the conduct in chapter five.
‘Absence from the office without authority, damaging office property, habitual or substantial neglect of work, lack of skill that the employee expressly or by the implication holds himself to possess and willful disobedience of lawful orders given by the employer’ it reads partly.
Speaking during the launching ceremony Minister of Education, Agness NyaLonje, said that all administrators and managers in the education sector must join hands to guard the laws as stipulated in the document.
“My ministry works closely with TUM and other stakeholders to ensure that this code of conduct is respected in order to bring forth desired results. I appeal to all teachers to make sure that they read and understand the contents of this very important document so that together we call it our code of conduct.
“Wrongdoing should not be over-exaggerated and, wrongdoing should not be embraced or hidden. School headteachers, advisors, District Education Managers must work jointly and diligently so that we harvest good results,” she said.
An Education expert, Benedicto Kondowe said the existence of the teachers’ code of conduct, was a beacon of hope towards the creation of a good education system, in the establishment of teachers’ regulatory body to re-enforce the laws.
“The launch of the code of conduct has laid a parent rock for the creation and establishment of Teachers Council of Malawi’ a regulatory body which among key areas shall enforce this code of conduct. Teachers' discipline and professionalism in any country is paramount is the success of education system in any country. The council is missing now and it must come soon,” he said.