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Alba Iulia
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Some Zambian teachers can’t read nor write, maintains Teaching Service Commission

General News Some Zambian teachers can’t read nor write, maintains Teaching Service Commission

The Teaching Service Commission has reiterates the statement made by the Chairperson Mr. Stanley Mhango that “some teachers could neither read nor write”, and that the Commission will introduce aptitude tests in the recruitment process in an effort to improve service delivery and professionalize teaching.

Commission Spokesperson Jane Mbambara said the introduction of aptitude tests has been necessitated by the concerns the Commission has been receiving from various education stakeholders.

“The public may wish to know that the Teaching Service Commission as employers of Teachers in the Public Sector would not allow anything that would compromise the quality of professionalism in the Teaching Service. The Commission would like to state that the statement was not in any way meant to demean or demoralize the Zambian teachers but it was meant to emphasize why the Commission wanted to introduce aptitude tests which will be administered at no cost,” Ms. Mbambara said.

She said the Commission is however aware that a named Union official wanted to use the statement to mislead the teachers and the general public.

Mr. Mhango, Chairperson of the Teaching Service Commission, a government entity regulating the teaching profession, said recently that applicants for the 2018 teacher recruitment will be required to sit for aptitude tests.

He said the aptitude tests will be conducted in various districts of the southern African nation to ensure that only competent teachers were recruited.

The move, he said, follows complaints from some school authorities over the caliber of some teachers deployed to various schools.

But the move, the first of its kind in teacher recruitment in the country, has received mixed reactions.

The Zambia Council for Social Development said the move was a confirmation that the government has not been paying particular attention to provision of quality education throughout the system.

ZCSD Executive Director Lewis Mwape said reports of failure by some recruited teachers to perform was a systemic failure by education authorities in the country to deliver quality education and introducing aptitude tests was a pedestrian manner of dealing with the problem.

Mr. Mwape described the plans to undertake aptitude tests for trained teachers intended to be recruited into teaching service as a mockery.

“The revelation of the Teaching Service Commission must be taken seriously as it raises not just the question of quality of teacher training but also underpins the systemic failure of the entire education system,” he said.

The government, he said, should increase funding to the education sector and ensure that the Ministry of General Education allocates more resources to the Directorate of Standards within the ministry in order to deal with education quality outcomes throughout the system.

“We are also of the view that the resources for aptitude testing would better be invested into providing textbooks and other education materials to schools who are currently struggling with teaching and learning materials due to poor funding at the school level,” he said.

The Zambia National Union of Teachers also believes that there is need to review the education structure in order to identify the real problem.

Newman Bubala, the union’s secretary-general said there were many loopholes in the recruitment process which have resulted in competently qualified teachers being left out in the recruitment exercise.

According to him, there was need to examine the recruitment system to ensure that the process was transparent and also increase the budgetary allocation to the education sector to enhance the quality of education being provided.

In 2017, over 500 teachers were found with fake qualifications during a scrutiny of their educational qualifications and some of them have since been fired.

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  1. Especially ba police….hiding in brutality-only to find out the chap can write and read,because nimwana wabakulu.

    • I don’t believe this to be true. More like they can read or write but are not good enough be Teaching.

      Teachers are like business men and policemen – they are professions and careers embarked on people who somewhat fail and fall back on them.

      Who starts school and says I want to be a Teacher, business man, plumber , bricklayers.

      When I see or hear these professionals I know they are ben sty me and are failures.

      Truth hurts I know.



    • My grade 7 teacher made me pass with 699 marks.
      He couldn’t write or had horrible handwriting. So I was one of 2 or 3 NOTES writers on black board. Hoo ya Tobias was good writer too. Since I had no time to copy notes on board, he allowed me to take text book home. So I read and read , even ahead of syllabus.
      My illiterate teacher is still alive. Here am in America because of a teacher who couldn’t write.
      Leave teachers alone, there happy souls is what matters!!

    • True. Just like some journalists on LT. I think these reporters were taught by these very teachers. That’s why they write “some teachers can’t read NOR write”. Its supposed to be “can’t read OR write”

  2. What do we make of this? Is Zambia too corrupt to be a viable nation? Look I have problems believing this.

  3. If this is true then the TSC themselves also can’t read and write. Its a case of a blind leading the blind. TEACHING SERVICE COMMISSION SHUD BE DISBANDED FOR FAILING TO EMPLOY PROPERLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS

  4. Teaching is one of the most noble if not the most noble professions! Without a teacher non of us would be even commenting here!

    We salute teachers but back to the issue at hand this is a sad development and casts a shadow over the profession as a whole but this goes back to my complaint its not enough to build a school and boast about it- the same school which doesn’t even have all the facilities befitting a school- no toilets, no blackboards, no chairs for the kids and to top it up poor planning to see to it the teachers are both well trained and qualified- failure to do this you are wasting the time of the kids- they will spend years not receiving a good education and the result is a disenfranchised youth- which is a ticking time bomb- I know this from my peacekeeping missions- the…

  5. Ctn…I know this from my peacekeeping missions- the number one cause of civil strife is a youthful uneducated and jobless population that feel they have been denied opportunities and yet someone will go and order 100 latest Hilux’s for his ministry when schools remain without competent teachers!

  6. This numskull hiding under the name of Mushota should be blocked from making disgusting comments on the blog. Whenever a comment comes from this person it is always negative, this moron just wants to empty the frustrations being faced wherever that person is staying.
    Our TEACHERS are professionals who deserve kudos not insults we are hearing, they surely passed grade 12, tertiary only to be insulted that they don’t know how to read and write, does it mean the makers at grade twelve marked their papers which in this case should have been scribbled with the language one can’t contemplate the meaning.
    The crop of children is what is failing the system they like to be spoon fed, that is why of late we hear them protesting if leakages are sealed we experienced this in Kitwe and we heard…

    • the truth is some teachers don’t even have genuine Grade 12 certificates, would you be surprised that they have difficulties in reading…it is not completely “blind” but reading like My grade 1 son and unfortunately with no desire to improve. For me aptitude tests if properly conducted will sieve the back door entrants and you will see even the number of applicants dropping. why should education be the option for failure?

  7. The testing and evaluation must be conducted professionally to avoid acrimony. The need for quality teaching as prerequisite for quality learning can not be overemphasized. It is true that teachers range from excellent to poor. What Mhango is saying is that poor grade must be removed from the teaching profession or at least undergo a process of capacity building.

  8. This is very strange. Someone went through a three yr teaching program after passing primary and sec schools and they re illiterate?

  9. Aptitude test are a pre-requisite for some professions. It is very clear that the standard of Grade 12 graduates these days is very poor to say the least. All you have to do is listen to most of these so called community radio stations and you will understand what I mean. The girls and boys on these stations, obviously recruited straight from school, have no clue what they are talking about. As for their grammar, God save the Queen! Would be teachers should be screen by way of aptitude tests and only the best picked for college.

  10. To say that there are teachers who can neither read nor write is an insult to the Teaching profession and the country at large and is an over exaggerated statement meant to justify the aptitude tests. Look, Mr. M’hango didn’t have to lie to make a case for aptitude tests it’s something that happens across industry daily. If a teacher can’t read or right, how did he/she pass through grade 7, 9 and 12 and still obtained a GCE or school certificate? How? Top it up he/she went to college, did 2/3 yrs as the case may be and passed. Furthermore went for teaching practice and still cleared and can’t write or read? People we are all product of teachers, let’s be truthful for a change.

  11. Baseless cadre mentality. what is the basis for this? Can the Teachig Service share the results of a study which supports this …. The teachers enter college and university with a minimum of 5 O levels. For diploma in primary teaching the entry qualification is even tougher. The five O Levels should English, Mathematics and a Science. The primary school teachers who taught most people now above 40 years were form 2 and 3s who have produced professor, medical doctors etc. Teaching Service Commissioner should be serious and stop behaving like a politician.This is the problem with cadres.

  12. Let’s not beat by the bush here. Ba TSC, u don’t recruit real tichaz what you recruit are political cadres. STOP calling them teachers. Just come and get them. Bubala has already admitted to say there are alot of loopholes in the recruitment process worse he says Trained graduate tichaz are being left out. Just to cite one example imwe ba TSC last year among thoz tichaz you recruited some were still studying as students in college/Univ. I mean What’s that! As tho not enaf, in the 2015 recruitment, here at this sch where I’m we received a female ticha who had no G15 certificate. She gave an excuse to say she was rewriting that same year. So to say tichaz are illiterate that’s a blue lie. It’s your cadres whom yo call tichaz who are illit. You are the same whenever there’s a…

  13. How will the teachers write the aptitude tests if, indeed, they can neither read nor write? Mind boggling, to say the least.

  14. There is need to revisit our education system in Zambia. Too much exam leakages especially at grade 9 and 12. This situation needs much attention because a teacher is a role model who needs to inspire confidence in the learners. Let the minister of education resign with immediate effect because you can’t employ teachers who are failing to read and write. Please higher education authority, kindly close these Tuntemba colleges which allow student to pay for results especially children coming from elite families. Some do exchange results with sex. You leave the right people who are supposed to be employed and you get people who have just passed in 2 or 3 subjects. People with money were paying K 5,000 to K 10,000 in order for them to be employed. Shame on .

  15. Comment:Aptitude tests can be introduced, but the problem of leakages hasn’t been dealt with in Zambia yet. The people who’ll be administering the same aptitude tests are the ones who are even going to be in forefront in leaking the answers. The big issue is corruption that has led to the degradation of our profession. So please people with opportunities of being in higher educational offices try to be professional first, telling our relatives or whoever may try to bribe you to use the right channel when the time for recruitments come. By so doing we are going to curb the scourge. Thank you.

  16. It’s not just fair,let all fields be visited and aptitude tests to be mandatory in all sectors if this should be implemented in education

  17. In a country where corruption in Government is high. anything is for sale, I can see how unqualified “teacher’s” can make it. Some of them either got the job through a relative without needing the proper qualifications or bribed their teachers.

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