MWAPE MWENYA, Mansa
SENIOR Chief Mwewa of Samfya district in Luapula Province has implored Government to take punitive measures against teachers in his area who are in the habit of abandoning classes whenever they get paid.
Senior Chief Mwewa said most teachers have to travel to Mansa to access their salaries every month and they do not return on time; a habit that is disadvantaging pupils.
The traditional leader was speaking in Mansa last week during the HeforShe Forum for 39 traditional leaders in Luapula Province.
The HeforShe is a global solidarity movement that promotes gender equality and equity in service delivery, and more than 2,000 men in the nine provinces of Zambia have signed up to be champions of the campaign.
The campaign is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Gender with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
â€œThe behaviour of some teachers in my chiefdom is very discouraging, absenteeism among pupils especially girls has increased. They feel they would rather be at home helping their parents than to be in school where there are no teachers,â€ Senior Chief Mwewa said.
The HeforShe campaign will be meaningless if stakeholders such as teachers do not execute their duties as expected.
He said Government should introduce a deliberate policy that should compel teachers to register their presence in schools and state reasons for absconding classes.
And Minister of Gender Nkandu Luo, who graced the occasion, said Government attaches importance to the education sector and will ensure erring teachers are held accountable for their actions.
Prof Luo said Government wants to ensure equal accessibility of fundamental human rights as enshrined in the amended Constitution.
â€œGovernment has started the civil service reforms that compel ministries to take action against erring officers. This process will be quicker as compared to waiting for the Public Service Commission to decide,â€ Prof Luo said.
MWAPE MWENYA, Mansa