The government says the 30,000 teachers that are being recruited by the new administration are expected to start working by July 2022.
Minister of Education, Douglas Siakalima said money to pay the teachers once they are recruited is readily available.
Mr. Siakalima said the education sector in Zambia has a deficit of 115,000 teachers.
He said the committees have taken long time to complete the recruitment process because the ministry had underestimated the process in which the exercise was supposed to be completed.
Mr. Siakalima was speaking when he met the District Human Resource Management Committee (DHRMC) in Chipata yesterday.
He said the committees took a long time to finish as evidenced everywhere because they were only given six days, when the whole recruitment process had a lot of things to do.
“This is why I’m trying to more than thank them because the work was too huge. I think they became overwhelmed and that might delay my roadmap but if the provinces can catch up then we will still have the same roadmap,’’ Mr. Siakalima said.
Mr. Siakalima said government spent six months planning for the teacher recruitment exercise because the system was broken by the previous regime.
Mr. Siakalima further said there is a current deficit of teachers in schools because of the free education policy that the government has implemented.
“There are about 60,000 teachers who are unemployed while the government is only employing 30,000.The other 30,000 has been left while the country has a deficit of 115,000 teachers,” he said.
Mr. Siakalima said the real terms on the deficit of 115,000 teachers means there not enough teachers in the country.
“Now, what was going to happen in the next 30 years is that we were going to have a real deficit of teachers, we were to start importing teachers abroad because parents are not sending their children to colleges of education,” he said.
Mr. Siakalima disclosed that Khwame Nkruluma University in Kabwe did an analysis which indicated that from time the government was not employing teachers, there has been drop in enrollment.
“So we were going to face a real deficit but now with the 30,000, everybody wants to go for teaching. There is excitement now and if the President didn’t do this 30 years from now we were going to have a total deficit of teachers ,’’he said .
Meanwhile, Mr. Siakalima said his office has information on some teachers that went to campaign for a named political party during the 2021 general elections.
He further said the new dawn administration is cleaning the ministry because of the politics that had engulfed the education sector in the last ten years
“When these teachers came back from campaigning and the head teachers wanted to discipline them, they said they were connected. Am touching all the teachers no one is connected to anyone anymore. You are connected to the work and to your pupil,” he said.
Earlier, Chipata District Human Resource Management Committee Chairman, Thomas Bwalya informed Mr. Siakalima that the shortlisting of names for teachers in the district was completed on Monday.
Colonel (Retired) Bwalya said the district received a total of 618 applications with some names found to be appearing twice.
“Sir, I would like to inform you that from the 618 applications, the numbers dropped to 599 out of which the 203 slots was given to the district. In the middle of the selection process, we had to categorise them and open envelopes and at times you find that one envelope had two application letters for two different people,” he indicated.