About 500 schoolchildren marched in protest over a strike by their teachers in Malawi's commercial capital, Blantyre.
Police said Wednesday that schoolchildren, aged between six and 12, broke classroom windows and damaged at least 40 cars.
The students chanted "We're not learning," in the local Chichewa language as they blocked one of the city's main roads with rocks and tree branches.
Police spokesman Dave Chingwalu said police used "minimum force" to end the protest, saying no children were injured despite the use of tear gas to disperse them.
More than 1,000 teachers went on strike Monday after their salaries were not paid. This is one of a series of strikes by teachers. Malawi's education ministry said at least 6,600 teachers have not been paid since May.