The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) says teachers have continued to show great commitment, leadership and innovation in ensuring continuity of learning in schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
ZANEC Executive Director, George Hamusunga noted that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the public at large of the important role that teachers play in the education of children.
Mr Hamusunga observed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have worked individually and collectively to find solutions and create new learning platforms for the learners.
“As schools reopened, teachers were at the center of the recovery process by ensuring that our children are learning in safe and healthy environments and catching up on the lost time,” he said.
Mr Hamusunga added that research evidence from countries that succeeded in reaching more children through remote learning also showed that teachers were an important factor in guaranteeing education through creative ways of engaging with learners with or without technology.
And Mr Hamusunga also indicated that teachers now have a dual role of providing blended learning through face to face classes in times of low COVID-19 cases as well as continuity of learning at home in peak COVID-19 periods.
He said government needs to give teachers the relevant tools and support through provision of continuous professional development in order for teachers to support blended learning effectively.
“Achieving this requires closing the current digital divide that exists between our urban and rural schools to make our teachers better equipped to provide continuity of learning at home,” Mr. Hamusunga stressed.
He has further appealed to the Ministry of Education to consider recruiting at least 15,000 teachers in 2022 to enable schools to cope with the demand for more teachers in the country.
This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today to mark the commemoration of World Teacher’s Day.