MAPUTO, Mozambique’s Education Ministry has announced the payment of most of the overtime pay which it owed to the country’s teachers.

Ministry spokesperson Manuel Simbine says the Ministry has paid 560 million meticais (about 9.5 million US dollars) out of a total amount owing of 700 million meticais.

Simbine says efforts are now being made to pay off the remaining 140 million meticais and put an end to this long-running grievance of Mozambican teachers.

Currently we are pushing ahead with the total liquidation of the debt, so that from now on we can manage overtime cases better. We are aware that it will always be necessary to have some teachers doing overtime, but we have to handle this process better, so that there is no further accumulation of debts, he adds.

We must have effective control over who are the teachers who have worked overtime, and what they deserve to receive. This is in order to plan payments better and avoid paying people who are not entitled to overtime pay.”

Simbine says the Ministry is currently hiring an extra 5,000 teachers, mostly for primary schools, for the coming school year, which begins on Feb 2.

The Ministry estimates at seven million the number of pupils in primary and secondary schools this year, plus students in teacher training and adult literacy institutions. A total of 234 new primary schools and 27 new secondary schools, all built from scratch, will open this year.