The Teaching Service Commission (TSC) says it is in the process of revising the conditions of service for teachers employed in the private sector.
TSC Chairperson, Stanley Mhango said although government is the biggest employer of teachers, many are assimilated by the private sector, who are sometimes subjected to poor working conditions.
Mr Mhango was speaking in Mufulira District where he met final year students at Mufulira College of Education.
Mr Mhango stated that currently, over 40,000 graduate teachers in the country are unemployed, a situation which has left them desperate and easy prey for scammers.
He stated that government cannot recruit all the unemployed teachers at once due to limited resources, hence many are assimilated into the private sector.
Mr Mhango stated that there is need to have clear minimum working conditions for teachers working in the private sector, in order to protect them from exploitation.
He disclosed that the commission is currently in negotiations with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Trade Unions, and the Ministry of General Education, in order to come up with minimum conditions of service for teachers in the private sector.
Mr Mhango said due to high levels of unemployment among teachers, many graduates end up falling prey to conmen who promise to secure them jobs in the civil service at a fee.
“We have received numerous reports of graduates who have been swindled by conmen who pose as District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS), Permanent Secretaries, and employees of the Teaching Service Commission. The desperate graduates send money to these conmen hoping to get a job but they disappear once they get the money, “Mr Mhango said.
Mr Mhango said it was for this reason that the commission was touring colleges of education in the country to caution final year students, and also lecture them on the laid down procedure for recruitment.
He cautioned graduate teachers to be weary of scammers saying the commission does not charge any amount of money for anyone seeking employment.
Mr Mhango cautioned the students that government would not tolerate any one who secures recruitment through corrupt means
“Even if you do manage to secure that job and you are recruited, once we find out you got your job by corrupt means we will blacklist you and write to the Teaching Council of Zambia so that relevant action is taken on you,” he warned.
Mr Mhango said the high levels of unemployment among teachers has potential to breed high levels of corruption in the recruitment process.