The National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has said that it is doubtful of the sincerity and feasibility of the teacher recruitment exercise.
In a Press Statement released yesterday, NAQEZ Executive Director, Aaron Chansa, said that the loud silence by Government on this important national matter was troubling, unhealthy, torturous to all the applicants and injurious to the Education Sector.
“While we have honestly trusted and supported this exercise, it is now extremely difficult for us to believe in it. The last bit of faith we had in the exercise is slowly but surely waning away,” said Chansa.
During his presentation of the 2022 national budget on Friday, 29th October 2021, the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, informed the nation that the Government had secured funds to recruit 30,000 teachers.
In January 2022, the Minister of Education, Hon. Douglas Siakalima, announced that the 30,000 teachers would be in schools in May, 2022. Against this assurance, the process has dragged up to now without a clear explanation from the Teaching Service Commission, the Ministry of Education or the Government Spokesperson.
NAQEZ said that it finds this loud silence by Government on this important national matter troubling, unhealthy, torturous to all the applicants and injurious to the Education Sector adding that while they have honestly trusted and supported this exercise, it is now extremely difficult for them to believe in it.
“The last bit of faith we had in the exercise is slowly but surely waining away, he said.
NAQEZ said that in the initial stage, the exercise had a very clear road map and all Zambians trusted the process and that if the process is to regain the confidence of the citizens, Government will have to immediately publish the list of successful candidates.
This publishing is long overdue. Like many others, and because of the critical shortages of teachers in Zambia, NAQEZ said that they cannot overemphasize the need to have the 30,000 new teachers employed and posted to schools.
NAQEZ further said that in case the Government has encountered serious challenges over this matter, it is important for the government leaders to communicate to the people, adding that keeping mute is damaging the good name of Government as it is breeding unnecessary and toxic speculations and rumours every day.
“Government owes an explanation to the more than 100,000 unemployed teachers, their families, educational stakeholders and the entire population. If the process has collapsed, as some quarters are suggesting, it is necessary for the Government to communicate to its people.” concluded the statement.
And NAQEZ has also charged that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is yet to have an impact on the education sector and that the organisation is organization is aware of some vulnerable students in boarding schools that have not received any support from the fund.
Mr. Chansa said that the impact so far is minimal as some schools are yet to benefit from the fund adding that no attention has been given to them and there is a need to ensure effective devolution of the administration of the CDF if the entire education like many others is to benefit from it.
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, unemployed health workers and teachers revealed that they had notified Police of their intention to hold a joint protest march to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education respectively if Government fails to publish the list of successful candidates by Friday as promised.
Chairperson for unemployed Doctors, Dr Wallace Ndumba, told KBN TV in a telephone interview that a joint committee for both unemployed health workers and teachers has since notified the Police of their intention to protest.
“Kindly take note we are basing our demand on the secular that was last communicated by both the Civil Service Commission and the Ministry of Health, indicating that the lists will be published between the 20th to 24th June 2022,” Dr. Ndumba said.