Some teachers who were deployed in 2021 on Tuesday stormed the office of the Copperbelt Provincial Education Office (PEO) Dr Stephen Chishiko to protest over the Government’s delay to place them on payroll.
The over 20 teachers who matched briefly from the Ndola Magistrate’s Court to the PEO’s around 09:00 hours claimed that from the time they were employed; they have not been able to access their salaries.
The irate teachers demanded answers from Education authorities on why they have not been put on payroll since being deployed in 2021.
The teachers said they were told not to apply at the time employing over 30,000 teachers but were however left out on the payroll.
They also expressed concern that despite their credentials having been made available, the government has not employed them and no word has come from authorities.
In an interview with journalists at the Provincial Education Office, one affected teacher Jolesia Chungu pleaded with the government to consider them in the next recruitment as they are tired of waiting and have become a laughingstock in the community.
“We are told they were verifying our letters, and they did the verification but never communicated to us. We just hear that some are being put on the payroll. We do not even know the criteria they are using,” he said.
Mr Chungu called the Ministry of Education to inform them of their fate.
Another teacher, Euphemia Busiku also called on the Ministry to inform them of the outcome of the verification process of their credentials.
“We are here to seek the office of the PEO to give us the position before they recruit the 4,500 teachers, another recruitment of the 30,000 teachers bypassed us with the promise that we were going to be cleared by December last year,” she said.
Copperbelt Provincial Education Standards Officer Sefulo Nyembe welcomed the teachers and engaged them in a closed door meeting that lasted close to two hours.
Mr. Nyambe declined to speak with the journalists saying he needed permission from the Permanent Secretary.
Meanwhile, later in the afternoon, PEO Stephen Chishiko has assured the aggrieved teachers that they will soon be put on the payroll.
Reacting to the protests, Dr Chishiko said the Government has been gradually putting the recruited teachers on payroll after scrutinizing their credentials and appointment letters.
Speaking to journalists at his office in Ndola, Dr Chishiko appealed to the teachers to be patient saying that the provincial administration is sorting the issue out together with the Ministry of Education.
Dr. Chishiko also advised new teachers to follow procedure when airing grievances saying they are required to channel their complaints to the District Education Board Secretary.
“We still have a few teachers yet to be placed on the payroll but one thing that we need to assure our teachers that the Ministry of General Education or Permanent Secretary has given us guidance to say everyone should be put on payroll but they should not get worried. You know once you are given the letter of appointment in government you must be rest assured that you are employed. It is just a matter of time once we resolve all the issues to do with the payroll I think all those people will be put on the payroll,” he said.
“It was yesterday coincidentally when we discussed those issues with the Permanent Secretary who guided us that we have to submit all those who are yet to be put on the payroll and that is what we have been trying to work on. We have been trying to get information from the districts. You are aware that payroll is decentralised, each district is supposed to put teachers on the payroll. I know the teachers came here because this office is there to coordinate and supervise the districts but I want to guide our new teachers that they need to go to their DEBS (District Education Board Secretary) and submit their grievances or concerns,” Dr Chishiko said.
But the President was not so long ago boasting about the large number of civil servants he has employed. Actually the large numbers he has added on to the unpaid payroll
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