As National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ), we demand that the Ministry of Finance must immediately release funds to enable the Ministry of General Education to recruit teachers.
NAQEZ is very much aware that K11.6 billion has been allocated to education and skills development in the 2018 national budget. This amount, according to the Minister of Finance, is meant to facilitate expenditure, among other things, teacher recruitment, student loans, infrastructure development and procurement of school requisites.
Our understanding is that once Parliament passes the budget, it becomes law and we expect that this appropriation for teacher recruitment will strictly be adhered to by everyone.
With four months before the year ends, it is disturbing that the Ministry of General Education has not yet began the process of employing and deploying new teachers. The country needs new teachers because statistics indicate that the Ministry losses more than 7000 teachers per year due to various factors. This fact clearly instructs that more than 8000 teachers ought to be recruited per year if our struggle against pathetic teacher to pupil ratios is to be won.
NAQEZ is further aware that Zambia now has more than 35,000 trained teachers who are ready for work. This number will continue growing if the Ministry of General Education will not employ this year.