Govt considering freeing guidance, counseling teachers of teaching workload

THE Ministry of General Education is considering removing class teaching responsibilities from guidance and counseling teachers to enable them concentrate on exclusive provision of guidance and counseling services to learners.

Ministry of General Education permanent secretary Jobbicks Kalumba observes that guidance and counseling teachers were overwhelmed with class teaching workload for them to adequately concentrate on their principal duties of providing guidance and counseling services to pupils.
Dr Kalumba observed that the aspect of guidance and counseling was very crucial because it creates a conducive environment in which teaching and learning could take place.

Speaking in Kapiri Mposhi on the sidelines of a Zambia Education Enhancement Project (ZEEP) training workshop for guidance and counseling teachers on school related Gender Based Violence (GBV), Dr Kalumba said guidance and counseling teachers would completely be removed from the regular teaching process for them to focus on offering effective guidance and counseling services.

“We are proposing now that we give these teachers a minimal load of regular teaching for them to concentrate on guidance and counseling responsibilities of learners or totally remove them from the normal teaching processes for them to concentrate on guidance and counseling because that is more crucial to the education process,” Dr Kalumba said.

He implored guidance and counseling teachers to understand the background of pupils, noting that this would help them devise solutions to specific psychological and social issues affecting teaching and learning in schools.

“Some of the children come from violent, disadvantaged homes and they bring these traits into the schools…these traits affect teaching and learning. So the role of the guidance and counseling teachers is very crucial,” Dr Kalumba said.

ZEEP assistant project coordinator Joe Kanyika said the workshop was aimed at orienting teachers on basic skills on guidance and counselling on school related Gender Based Violence (GBV).

He said the workshop attracted 394 guidance and counseling teachers from ZEEP supported schools in Central, Luapula and Muchinga provinces.

He said with support from the World Bank, the ZEEP project would hold similar workshops across the country in all the 382 ZEEP intervention schools.

Kanyika said the workshops would focus on school related Gender Based Violence (GBV), covering prevention and provision of psychosocial counseling to leaners in order to provide a conducive learning environment for pupils.

“In the implementation of the ZEEP project, it was realised that there were special challenges that learners were facing such as GBV which compromises levels of safety among learners. This training will help teachers to be aware and understand GBV that is taking place in homes which is also spreading to schools and how they can help the children who are coming from those backgrounds,” Kanyika said.

And Kanyika said ZEEP would soon create grievance redress mechanism desks in all the ZEEP intervention schools to enhance management of critical information on learners to help in provision of effective guidance and counseling services.

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