National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has said despite serious promises made by government, thousands of teachers have not been upgraded to their rightful salary scales and others not confirmed in substantive positions.
NAQEZ Director of Media and Advocacy, Peter Kalonga said as the new dawn administration clocks two years in office this August 2023, its performance in the education sector can only be rated at 60 percent in terms of achievement.
Kalenga in a statement issued in Lusaka on Saturday cited the historic recruitment of 30,496 teachers in the year 2022, declaration and implementation of free education from pre-school (ECE) to Grade 12 as some of the achievements.
He said other achievements included the timely release of funds to all government and grant-aided schools in the country.
“Commissioning of the 2022-2024 curriculum review process, promotion of skills development among young people,” Kalenga added.
He said the construction of a number of classroom blocks using Constituency Development Fund (CDF) justify NAQEZ’s rating that the new dawn had scored above 50 percent in the education sector so far.
Kalenga said NAQEZ was however saddened by the fact that government had not paid close attention to the plight of teachers who are the engine of the education system.
He said to the teachers’ displeasure, the government was still owing thousands of teachers a lot of money in form of unpaid allowances including leave benefits and settling-in allowances.
Kalenga said this was very demotivating to the teachers and worse still, it stamps a grave dent on strides for quality education provision in the country.
“Furthermore, contrary to expectation, the government has not gazetted secondary schools which sprung from primary schools.
As a result of not being granted treasury authority, many teachers at these schools are underpaid for their labour,” he said.
Kalenga said to assure the teachers of better things to come their way, the Teaching Service Commission had sadly not come up with a clear roadmap or strategy to deal with these matters of upgrades and confirmations.
He said the slow pace at which desks are being made in the face of overcrowding in classrooms had compounded the precarious situation obtaining and compromised the quality of education in Zambia.
“Failure to ensure that no school-going child sits on the floor by the end of 2023 is working against our Republican President’s directive to seat every child by the end of the year and period under review,” Kalenga said.
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