PF cadres employed as quack teachers wont be fired

PF cadres employed as quack teachers wont be fired

The Teaching Service Commission has warned education authorities against victimising teachers through questionable transfers.
And TSC chairperson Stanley M’hango says the government will not fire the “quack” teachers who were recently discovered to have used fake qualifications to be employed but will give them an opportunity to exculpate themselves.
Speaking when he officiated at this year’s Teachers’ Day in Solwezi, M’hango said the TSC was concerned with reports of transfers allegedly aimed at settling scores.
“We have made it clear that transfers should not be used as forms of punishment. In the disciplinary code, there is nowhere where I have read that whenever a teacher has committed an offence, such a teacher should be transferred. There is no such a penalty. When a teacher has committed an offence, he should be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary code and procedures of disciplining public officers,”
M’hango said.
He advised education authorities at both provincial and district levels against going beyond the requirements of the disciplinary code of conduct but that the commission encouraged regular transfers aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness.
And M’hango said the “quacks” who were found with fake qualifications had contributed to lowering of standards in the education sector and that was why government constituted the Teaching Council of Zambia to regulate the industry and root out unqualified personnel.
He, however, said the TSC would not fire the ‘fake’ teachers but will provide a mechanism for them to exculpate themselves.
“We should actually be able to commend the Teaching Council of Zambia for having done a very commendable job of weeding out all the quacks. This government and the commission believe in the rule of law. And the rule of law demands that whenever a person has been accused of committing an offence, let the due process of the law take its course. We are not going to unilaterally fire these people,”
M’hango said.
He also said the country had satisfied international standards for pupil-teacher ratios of one teacher to forty-three pupils in primary and thirty-nine pupils in secondary schools with 50,000 qualified teachers to spare but due to poor deployment strategies, some schools were experiencing lack of personnel.
M’hango said from 2018, the government would begin re-assigning teachers especially to rural and hard-to-reach schools in order to equitably remove the current imbalance.
M’hango appealed to teachers to ensure they kept the standards of education high in accordance with the expectations of the communities they served and the new status of professionals.
Meanwhile, Basic Teachers Union of Zambia deputy general secretary Henry Sinkala said the Ministry of Education had seen unprecedented transfers of people perceived to be in the opposition.
During the commemoration of World Teachers Day at Luangwa House on Thursday, Sinkala bemoaned the high rate of political interference in the education structures.
“It is also important to note that fundamental principles such as academic freedom and self-governance are being challenged in unprecedented ways with a lot of political and community interference in the professional management of education structures. Allow me to add a bit of flesh on this important point; our ministry has seen unprecedented transfers based on imaginations of people who perceive others to be in the opposition.
“Immediately such cases are reported, unfortunately, without being investigated by our relevant wings, we have seen people being persecuted by being transferred,” he said.
Sinkala said the worst scenarios had seen some people being retired in national interest.
“…this is very uncalled for and we ask government to stop persecuting the perceived teachers who are actually seen to be in the opposition. Every person has a right to belong to whichever political party he or she feels has the agenda to undertake for the development of the country. In the same vein, we want to caution our teachers as civil servants: let’s not be partisan to the level whereby we are seen wearing party regalia and so on and so forth,”
he said.
Sinkala said teachers were not happy with the machinations of not improving the conditions of service for 2017, the year under review.
And TCS senior inspection officer Henry Kamoko said some teachers were an embarrassment to the teaching profession as they contributed to poor results through their conduct.
He said some teachers always reported late but were first to get salaries at the end of the month.
Kamoko said teachers should have a sense of self-esteem by making the profession what they want it to be.
Meanwhile, Eastern Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo, who was represented by provincial administration’s chief human resource officer Smith Mangalilo, said the birth of the Teaching Council of Zambia through the professions Act number 5 of 2013 should establish teaching as a profession.
“As registration is still going on, unregistered elements in the teaching service are slowly but surely being uprooted. This should be a necessary and welcome exercise by all well-meaning Zambians. It is an exercise intended to empower teachers and grant them freedom that they deserve,”
said Kasolo.

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