The National Action for Quality Education in Zambia says it has received information that some primary schools, mostly in rural areas are operating without adequate teachers.
The Organisation Executive Director Aaron Chansa says he finds this extremely odd and must not be allowed to continue.
Mr. Chansa notes that some Zambians in towns find it frightening to contemplate having their children at a school with only one, two or three teachers, this is reality for other rural parents.
” For Nkurumashiba Primary of Mpongwe district on the Copperbelt,a school which ran for more than 2 years with only one teacher, it had to take NAQEZ leaders to alert the new education Permanent Secretary, Dr Jobicks Kalumba,in order for the PS to direct Provincial education authorities to beef up staffing at the institution.We commend the PS for his promptness on this matter”, he said.
He said from the case of Nkurumashiba school and many other schools with less than 3 teachers,it is very clear that Zambia has a big problem at hand.
“Our findings are that the distribution of teachers in the country is not well done and that many District Education Board secretariats have unduly neglected the aspect of balancing staffing in these schools”, he said.
Mr. Chansa has since appealed to leaders in the Ministry of General Education to practically assist Mr. Mabumba the Minister responsible and his Permanent Secretary,in making sure that all those schools critically hit by acute shortages of teachers are immediately supplied with teachers.
He said his Organisation is also of the view that in this country, there is marked inequality in terms of access to qualify education.
“We have a dual system of education, one for the rich and another for the poor.The rich Zambians take their children to lavishly equipped and well staffed schools while the poor Zambians send their children to schools without teachers,books and desks”, he added.
He said these cruel contrasts sit awkwardly and NAQEZ insists that time has come for the Country to genuinely and decisively deal with these artificial imbalances.
Mr. Chansa said his Organisation feels severe lack of teachers in most rural schools requires urgent attention otherwise the disconnection between Primary schools and Secondary Schools will continue to widen.
He has since demanded for more teachers in these schools if Zambia’s education is to be of help rather than a hindrance to development.
Mr. Chansa said to help resolve this situation, the Ministry of General Education must call for an emergency meeting involving teacher unions and the Teaching Service Commission, to solely deal with this matter, quickly craft special and very attractive incentives for rural teachers to push many teachers into rural Zambia.
He said Just like government has been building houses for men and women in uniforms, the same gesture must be extended to teachers, need for a policy which will not allow a school to operate with less than 7 teachers.