Zambia – State urges private schools to employ qualified teacher
KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is aware that many private schools are engaging unqualified teachers and in some cases school-leavers to handle early childhood education.
And the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) has condemned the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Sydney Mushanga said there is need to employ qualified teachers to enable them to effectively deliver quality education to learners.
He was speaking on Tuesday during the launch of the Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) Early Childhood Education (ECE) Policy and Strategic Plan.
“Government is ready to work with and support organisations contributing to improving the quality of education of early learners,” Mr Mushanga said.
He said many people associate trade unions with collective bargaining and grievance handling.
“Today we are witnessing a paradigm shift from these traditional roles with unions spearheading policy change,” Mr Mushanga said.
He said ECE plays a critical role in setting up the foundation for future learning of the children.
“I am informed that only less than 16 percent of children entering grade one have had an opportunity to receive ECE,” he said.
Mr Mushanga said this is a serious challenge, which needs to be urgently addressed.
Research has revealed that children who have access to ECE services perform better than those who don’t have.
Mr Mushanga said Government acknowledges the important role ECE plays in the holistic development and future education of children.
Efforts are being made to promote the provision of quality ECE and to achieve education for all.
Government last year deployed over 1,000 ECE teachers to public schools with ECE centres to ensure provision of quality education.
And ZNUT president Henry Kapenda said effective education results in poverty reduction, higher lifetime earnings and greater satisfaction on the job and at home.
Mr Kapenda said economic development specialists have identified education as a key source of economic growth and rising incomes in many countries.
And SADTU president David Mawela said the Zambian government and other neighbouring countries contributed immensely to the liberation of South Africa, and that it is, therefore, unfortunate that foreigners in that country have been subjected to xenophobic attacks.
“We strongly condemn attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa by some of our colleagues,” he said.
He said SADTU has taken to the streets to demonstrate against xenophobic attacks perpetrated by fellow South Africans.
Mr Mawela, however, expressed hope that xenophobia will soon end and all people regardless of nationality will enjoy their peace in that country.
Source: Daily – Mail