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Teachers assured of improved status

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is striving to improve the working environment for teachers by attending to their desire for improved conditions of services, provision of teaching aids and better accommodation,
Teachers have also been cautioned against examination malpractices.
“Government has initiated programmes that focus on quality education. Government is working on improving teachers’ salaries by working on disparities,” Minister of General Education Michael Kaingu said in Lusaka yesterday during the commemoration of World Teachers’ Day.
Dr Kaingu said Government will meet teachers’ unions to discuss the shortage of accommodation.
He said teachers in society and community are of paramount importance in shaping Zambia.
Dr Kaingu said Government will do everything possible to ensure that adequate teaching and learning materials are made available.
Earlier, Ministry of General Education permanent secretary Chishimba Nkoshya said teachers should be alert and avoid examination malpractice.
He thanked teachers for their commitment despite the challenges they face in rendering quality service.
“We need to work as a team in ensuring quality service delivery is achieved.
“As change agents in society, we are required to work as a team at school, district and provincial levels,” he said.
Mr Nkoshya said the eight hours policy is not for teachers because teachers teach according to periods.
Government has engaged relevant institutions to ensure that the current structure is revised.
Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) president Henry Kapenda said Government should empower teachers.
“Government should provide quality development programmes for teachers. They (Government) should also develop quality health scheme for teachers,’’ he said.
And NKOMBO KACHEMBA reports that Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe has urged teachers to inculcate good morals in pupils for them to become responsible citizens.
Mr Kabwe said it is the responsibility of teachers to ensure that pupils are at their best behaviour whenever they leave the school premises.
“The behaviour of a pupil is a mirror of the teacher and the head teacher,” he said.
Mr Kabwe is concerned about the high number of pupils joining gangs and terrorising residents of Kitwe.
He said it is important for the teachers to also mentor their pupils on the importance of choosing good careers for them not to end up on the streets.
ZNUT vice-general-secretary Catherine Namukatachilumba urged teachers to upgrade their qualifications for them to offer quality education services to the pupils.
“Let us improve on our qualifications. The certificates we hold are no longer needed. We need to have diplomas in teaching,” Ms Namukatachilumba said.
And Mongu Central member of Parliament (MP) Nathaniel Mubukwanu says teachers are an irreplaceable resource to education, ELIZABETH CHATUVELA reports
Speaking at Mongu Stadium yesterday, Mr Mubukwanu said teachers should be appreciated because they are much more than just educators.
Mr Mubukwanu, who is also Southern Province minister, said: “Government is fully aware and deeply committed to the welfare of its crucial drivers of change and development and you teachers are a critical cog. As a result, almost every one of us has had unforgettable experiences of being shaped and influenced by our wonderful teachers,“ he said.
And SHIKANDA KAWANGA reports that Livingstone district commissioner Omar Munsanje has called on teachers to equip pupils with reading skills so that they can understand questions and improve the pass rate in Southern Province.

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