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Quality education impossible without motivated teachers – NAQEZ

THE National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) says it is impossible to have quality education without motivated teachers.

In a message to mark the Teachers’ Day which is being celebrated today, NAQEZ executive director Aaron Chansa called for a fresh start for teachers in Zambia.

“As teachers will be celebrating their heroic achievements as well as lamenting their stunted economic status tomorrow, National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) is calling for a fresh start for teachers in Zambia,” he said.

Chansa said while everyone in Zambia agrees that teachers were the most important human resource, many surprisingly do not support the view that teachers should be paid above the rest.

“With this societal attitude, we now have, as a country, a lowly regarded teaching profession. This is sad for the country. Today, we have thousands of our teachers living in substandard houses because their housing allowance is too small for decent accommodation,” he noted. “More than 90 per cent of Zambian teachers are heavily indebted, mostly because of economic pressures they face every day. Even when they further their education at great personal cost, they are not upgraded in correct salary scales.”

Chansa said NAQEZ was aware that thousands of teachers in Zambia were highly demotivated because they had been acting in positions for years, especially in upgraded schools, without being confirmed.

“Where exactly is the problem that even confirmations cannot be done for years? For private school teachers, the situation is worse. Their conditions of work are pathetic and the Ministry of Labour has never been interested in their plight. We truly sympathise with most private school teachers in the country. We fervently pray and hope that the new Minister of Labour will take special interest in the industrial anarchy that obtains in most private schools,” he said. “On this important day, we call for a fresh start for teachers in Zambia. Instead of having traditional speeches and marches, we expect our government to share a clear roadmap on how issues affecting public and private school teachers will be overcome. We cannot continue on this path where the most important profession is highly neglected. It is a dangerous route because no one would be where they are today without a teacher. And without a happy teacher, no nation can meaningfully develop. We dearly hold a view that it is impossible to have quality education without motivated teachers.”

Chansa said NAQEZ retains maximum confidence that the UPND administration can craft a new and exciting narrative for Zambian teachers, starting today.

“The new government will be giving the country a huge boost by taking good care of educators,” said Chansa.

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