Teacher Unions in Chirundu Town, of Southern Province, say if the new dawn government manages to dismantle outstanding personal emoluments, among others, President Hakainde Hichilema will leave a “lasting legacy’ in the country.
National Union for Public and Private Educators of Zambia (NUPPEZ) Chirundu District Secretary John Kagula says from the positive steps made by government so far, teachers’ unions and public service workers in the area are happy with President Hichilema’s transformative agenda.
Mr. Kagula has however asked the “New Dawn” government to quickly dismantle outstanding personal emoluments such as settling in allowances, leave days and salary arrears owed to both new and retired members.
The NUPPEZ Chirundu District Secretary said this on Wednesday during this year’s World Teachers’ Day commemorated under the theme: “The Transformation of Education Begins With Teachers.”
He also called on the government to consider addressing the challenge of running schools without an establishment subjecting school administrators managing such schools saying this move denies such teachers an opportunity to be promoted.
He called for operationalisation of the proposed Ministry of Education structure which the teacher unions see will help in resolving the current education structural distortion.
Government should also speed up the proposed NAPSA Reforms aimed at addressing the benefit structure and allow teachers to choose a pension scheme without being restricted.
“Provide social amenities such as decent housing, electricity and access to safe drinking water and good road networks for teachers in rural areas if
we are to retain them.Speed up the process of NAPSA reforms to address the challenges in the benefit structure and further allow teachers to choose a pension scheme without being restricted as the case is now.
“It does make sense allowing a situation where a supervisor is paid to same salary with a person they supervise (DEBS and Head teacher secondary).” He added.
“Operationalize the policy of government to reunite couples. We still have our members whose transfers have not been done because there are arguments of non-existence of vacancies. Let vacancies be created if need be.”
And Mr. Kagula cited the additional employment of over 30,000 teachers to implement “Free Education Policy” which he said had greatly helped in partly addressing the challenge of teacher pupil-ratio.
He further cited the implementation of “Free Education Policy” from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to Grade 12 which has been backed with matching resources that schools in the area are receiving quarterly is commendable.
He explained that the 2022 World Teachers’ Day theme is translated and understood to mean that a teacher is an integral part of any reform, improvement and change that we desire to make to the education sector if the country is to provide appropriate education for its citizens.
Mr. Kagula pointed out that the transformation of education can also be best understood by close reference to the salient features of the United Party for National Development (UPND) manifesto on social sector programmes.
Speaking at the same event, Chirundu District Commissioner Patrick Kasambila says President Hichilema Hakainde firmly believes that education and skills development are the cornerstones of national development.
Mr. Kasambila said President Hichilema has demonstrated in the massive recruitment of 30,000 teachers that are already teaching in schools of which Chirundu district received a total number of one hundred and two (102) teachers.
The District Commissioner pointed out that the “New Dawn” government will continue to reduce on the teacher pupil ratio in order to attain quality education that which brings about individual and societal transformation.
Teachers from both public and private schools turn up in numbers to celebrate this year’s World Teachers’ Day after a two-year absence due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Zambia in 2020.