The Teaching Council of Zambia – TCZ is calling on all teachers across the country to be compliant by registering with the Council especially on the issue of obtaining a valid practicing license, participation in the Continuing Professional Development Training – CPD, and the renewal of the license after the three years period comes to an end.
The Teaching Council of Zambia Registrar Ebby Mubanga stated that regulating teachers is not an easy undertaking but teachers’ registration being the starting point for every teacher has helped the Council to regulate the teachers as all the documents and credentials submitted during registration process are verified to ensure that they are valid and genuinely obtained.
“It’s at this registration process that helps us look at the qualifications of teachers, we usually discover that some people submit fake credentials that were fraudulently obtained, and for us to sanction a teacher for misconduct or any related offense, it can only be done on teachers who are our members, and what we are doing as a Council is something that is also happening in other professions,” he said
Speaking on Let The People Talk Programme on Phoenix FM, Mr Mubanga disclosed that compliance levels amongst teachers are very low especially with regards to the practicing license, as teachers are of the view that the Council does not take any action on those who have not registered nor complied but as a Council their preoccupation is not to push around teachers as they are a professional body that expects teachers to take responsibility by emulating other professions such as nurses, engineers, and lawyers who are also regulated.
“Teachers are reminded that the Teaching Council of Zambia operates within the confines of the Teaching Profession Act No. 5 of 2013 Section 16 which cites that a teacher who practices or provides any teaching service during any period in which a practicing certificate is void commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 500,000 penalty units or to be imprisonment for a period not exceeding five (5) years or both, thus somebody whose practicing without a valid practicing license contravenes the law and can be prosecuted,” Mr Mubanga explained
Mr Mubanga mentioned that the teaching practicing license is to be renewed every after three (3) years and during the renewal of the license every teacher is required to be produce evidence of having participated in the Continuing Professional Development Training or Programmes – CPD, an initiative that trains teachers to grow professionally as education is dynamic hence this programme requires teachers to be active participants in teachers group meetings, and research that helps them to contribute to the growth oof knowledge.
He stated that the Council has a database that contains information for all the teachers in the country, which helps them to have statistics of teachers who are in government, private sector and those who are yet to be employed, adding that it’s the information in this database that helped the Government to have statistics when they were recruiting the more than 30,000 teachers countrywide.
Mr Mubanga explained that the Council will soon embark on decentralization process as teachers are in all the ten provinces, and employers both in the private and public sector can only employ teachers who are registered with the Teaching Council of Zambia as they verify all the credentials for all teachers before they are employed, and this verification also protects pupils in all schools not to be taught by unqualified individuals who may masquerade to be teachers.
“Regulation is meant to protect the integrity of the teaching profession, as well as give the Zambian child the best teacher ever,” Mr Mubanga said
The Teaching Council of Zambia is a statutory body under the Ministry of Education that was established in accordance with the Teaching Profession Act No. 5 of 2013, whose mandate is to look at the regulation of teachers, their practice and professional conduct. The Council regulates teachers from both private and public schools who teach in primary schools, secondary schools, pre-school and colleges of education.
The Council as a regulatory body has a mandate to ensure that the professional conduct of teachers in all the schools is attained, because teachers are professionals, society expects a lot from them thus the Council ensures that checks and balances are conducted as the teachers conduct their business.
The Teaching Council of Zambia works in close collaboration with institutions such as the Teaching Service Commission, an institution that looks into the employment and recruitment process of teachers, transfers, promotions, termination of employment, and reinstate teachers serving in public institutions only.