GOVERNMENT is in the process of introducing practising licences for teachers across the country.
The practising certificates will be regulated by the Teaching Council of Zambia following the enactment of the Teaching Professional Act by Parliament.
Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education David Mabumba disclosed this when he addressed teachers from various schools in Isoka district.
Mr Mabumba said the certificates will regulate the professional conduct of teachers.
He said unlicenced teachers will not be allowed to teach either in private or public schools.
“The Teaching Council will work with the Teaching Service Commission to establish your code of conduct, and paramount to that code of conduct, teachers will be required to be issued with a practicing certificates,” he said.
Mr Mabumba said once the Teaching Council is ready, it will sensitise teacher unions and the general membership on the code of ethics.
“If you are not issued with the practicing certificate, it means you cannot teach anywhere in this country. You can appeal to court.
“So, I am trying to warn you that before a code of conduct is put in place, let us reflect on our professional conduct. If it has not been good, it is high time you started reforming yourself,” Mr Mabumba said.
And Mr Mabumba has also challenged teachers to upgrade their qualifications if they are to be elevated.
He said teachers should position themselves for promotions as Government is currently upgrading 220 primary schools into secondary, constructing 118 secondary schools and six universities across the country.
“As we are expanding various educational infrastructure, you should position yourselves by upgrading your educational qualifications,” he said.
And Mr Mabumba has implored teachers and parents in general to promote the teaching of local languages in schools as a medium for instruction.
He said research has shown that a child who uses a local language is likely to learn quicker than the one who uses a foreign language.
“And the English language that we have been using in this country, in my own opinion, contributed to the poor quality of our educational system.
“As Zambians, if a child is speaking English, parents feel proud. And I get surprised with such parents, to be honest; it is shameful. You should be proud of your mother tongue,” he said.
Mr Mabumba said English should only be an additional subject as it is the official language.
He is impressed that since the introduction of local languages at primary school level, the pupils’ literacy has improved.
“Last year, when we introduced the new curriculum, it was only two weeks when I visited a school in Nchelenge, and children were able to read and word formation was impressive. I was very surprised.
“And so with your support as key stakeholders in the implementation programme, in the next few years, our children will be able to break through in terms of literacy at a tender age,” he said.