And Chansa has proposed that the government temporarily suspends the training of teachers to give room to those who graduated to get jobs.
He stated that the country currently has about 50,000 teachers who are yet to be employed and the private sector cannot accommodate such huge numbers.
“We greatly fear that if nothing is done urgently, this danger will soon produce social, economic and political turbulences. Currently, statistics are stubbornly indicating that we have about 50,000 teachers who cannot find any employment in government or private sector. It is now abundantly clear that the private sector cannot employ anymore and that government has no capacity to absorb all these teachers. When government advertises to recruit 2,000 teachers, for example, more than 45,000 teachers apply. This is fertile ground for untold corruption, nepotism and favouritism when selecting the paltry 2,000,” Chansa stated. “This cannot go without serious checking. Both public and private sectors cannot employ them. Still, chances of them getting employed in the next 10 years are very remote. Others may end up reaching ages that would disqualify them for public service employment.”
He proposed that the government temporarily suspends the training of teachers in the country until the current numbers of the unemployed graduate teachers is reduced.
“Because of the seriousness of this matter, NAQEZ proposes the following drastic measures: the two ministries of Education must stop training teachers in social sciences and only train in subjects where teachers are in critical supply. This measure can run for four to five years; Private Colleges must be regulated by government on the number and type of teachers to train. The country cannot just be training teachers who end up nowhere,” Chansa proposed and further asked the Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ) to critically screen private colleges and shut down those not fit to be conducting teacher training.
“We want the number of colleges to train teachers to be systematically and purposely controlled. Then the other thing is that government at presidential level should divert Zambia from the current training system to that of revolutionary skills and vocational training. More national attention must go into training our people in useful vocational and technical skills as opposed to skills in humanities and social sciences. Young people in Zambia for now must seriously consider doing trainings in other programs and courses which will ultimately make them ready to employ themselves or be easily employed…Cruel conditions of work in most of these schools have caused a serious scramble for very few vacancies in government schools. The other thing is that the Ministry of Higher Education should urgently put lecturers in Trade Schools on government payroll. This will attract qualified teaching staff in these very important training institutions, and many young people will easily be persuaded to go for technical trainings. The terrible working conditions currently obtaining in trade schools is retrogressive and badly hurting training in technical and vocational skills, job creation and poverty reduction in Zambia.”