Group raises the alarm on living conditions of teachers in rural areas, calls for housing projects


The distressing plight of most teachers working in rural areas across the country has disturbed the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia ( NAQEZ).

NAQEZ Executive Director, Aaron Chansa, said majority of rural teachers had been denied decent accomodation while others are not able to get even rural or remote hardship allowance.

Chansa, in a statement issued in Lusaka on Saturday, stated that recently NAQEZ had found some teachers staying in grass thatched houses while others were sleeping in classrooms.

He said keeping teachers in this way was embarrassing and a direct attack on quality education, coming nearly 60 years after independence.

“Our recent survey on the plight of teachers in rural areas shows that some teachers in these hard to reach schools are not being given allowances which are due to them,” Chansa stated.

He claimed that the allowances were being given to wrong officers, those serving in towns.

Chansa expressed worry that a lot more rural teachers had been acting for many years without being substantively promoted.

“This has frustrated already disadvantaged educators,” he said.

Chansa stated that with the current poor conditions of service for rural teachers, it is feared that the vicious cycle of migration of teachers from rural areas to urban places would continue.

He said even the current efforts of sending teachers to rural districts would not yield the intended goal.

Read More: Education body clamours for salary increment for teachers to address high cost of living

“This situation will permanently condemn children in rural Zambia, who are the majority, to always consuming poor quality of education due to shortages of teachers,” Chansa added.

He appealed to government to consider launching a national housing project for teachers in rural areas, away from Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

He also advised that as a deliberate measure to keep teachers in rural areas, the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Service Commission should make all teachers in rural Zambia begin to get hardship allowances at 35 percent of ones basic salary.

“To further motivate teachers in these socially disadvantaged places, the Ministry of Science and Technology should increase access to mobile phone and internet services,” Chansa said.

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