The Ministry of General Education has been losing 7,000 teachers annually due to various factors, the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has said. NAQEZ executive director Aaron Chansa says data from the ministry’s 2016 educational statistical bulletin indicates that the country needs to engage a lot of teachers in public schools to cover up for the 7,000 annual loss.
Mr Chansa said this is why NAQEZ has been calling on Government to employ at least 8,000 teachers annually. This is contained in NAQEZ’s analysis of ‘Zambian primary and secondary education sub-sectors’, which will be presented to the Ministry of General Education today. “This bulletin also indicates the ministry [of General Education] loses 7,000 teachers per year.
In 2009, 11,449 teachers left the teaching profession while 11,205 left teaching in 2010,” the statement reads in part. In 2012, 6,450 teachers left the profession while in 2013, 8,893 abandoned the occupation. “In 2014, teacher attrition was 9,893 and the number was 8,139 in 2015. The year 2016 saw the ministry losing teachers due to various factors,” Mr Chansa said NAQEZ wants Government to employ more teachers to cover the deficit.
“This is the reason why NAQEZ has been advocating that more than 8,000 teachers should be employed annually,” Mr Chanda said. He said most teachers are going through several challenges that need to be addressed. “Most teachers have not had their [salary] scales upgraded even after furthering their qualifications. Others have not received their settling-in allowances and many other allowances,” Mr Chansa said. And NAQEZ has welcomed the professionalisation of the teaching fraternity through the introduction of code of ethics.
The education standards body has also commended the Teaching Service Commission for motivating teachers by introducing a new salary scale for holders of master’s degree qualification. “This will motivate teachers to acquire as much knowledge as possible and help them improve their performance,” Mr Chansa said.
On examination leakages, NAQEZ has recommended stiffer punishment for teachers and pupils found wanting. “Amend the Examinations Council of Zambia Act to empower the council to severely punish