David MoyoWambuya, Chairperson of The People’s Crusade of Zambia
17 July 2022
THE People’s Crusade of Zambia wishes to join other stakeholders in sincere congratulating the newly recruited teachers across the country and hopes the New Dawn Government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, will extend this development to other professions very soon such as the nursing services. Without doubt the New Dawn Administration has broken the record of recruitment of teachers in the history of Zambia and needs to be applauded for this measure. From our end, we will continue providing constructive counsel to the New Dawn Government so that it can continue transforming our country for a better shared future where opportunities are at everyone’s disposal as opposed to only a select few privileged. The People’s Crusade of Zambia believes the recruitment of teachers was long overdue and its fulfilment now indicates a strong desire and genuine commitment of the New Dawn Administration in delivering on its promises to the people of Zambia.
The recent recruitment of teachers estimated at 30,496 is unprecedented in the history of Zambia and will indisputably help boost consumer demand in the domestic market especially in the rural parts of the country were individuals with predictable income had previously been insignificant. In otherwords, the development to recruit teachers of this scale and covering all Provinces of the country will greatly transform the country and yield positive multiplier effects in the economy. The People’s Crusade also wishes to urge both Government and the Non-Governmental Organisation to put in place measures to ensure that the recent recruitment of teachers did not result into social catastrophic such as increased disease transmissions, depression and stress disorders caused by being away from close family members, unplanned pregnancy, alcoholic, and early marriages especially in rural parts of the country.
According to the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ), as at 2019, Zambia had around 50,000 teachers who could not find jobs in government or private schools and warned that the situation might turn into a social, economic and political catastrophe if nothing is done to help the situation. As a result of this labour surplus of teachers which is perceived to be a misfortune, the recent recruitment of over 30,000 teachers will contribute to absorbing at least 60 percent of the unemployed teachers directly into the formal labour market which is permanent and risk-free.
However, as a Crusade we wish to urge the New Dawn Government to consider expediting the processes of undertaking some measures such as recruitment so that people do not involuntarily enter into cumulative anxiety mode due to long period of waiting and yet this which can be avoided. Both recruitment and appointments at all levels in public service must be expedited in order to give a fresh breath and confidence in the governance system that would reflect the New Dawn Government’s progressive aspirations. Any further delay in effecting recruitments and necessary appointments only triggers involuntary anxieties and unsolicited speculations of to what is causing the experienced delays.
Furthermore, the recent newly recruitment of teachers country wide will shift the consumer demand upwards owing to the added individuals with stable income inflow through monthly salaries and boost consumer buying power on the domestic market. The immediate industry to receive a boost is the accommodation or housing as newly recruited teachers will have to demand for accommodation in the areas they have been posted and the other is the households consumable products mostly sold in the Chainstores such as Shoprite, Choppies, Pick n pay and Melisa. Therefore, this is a wake up call to the local manufacturers and suppliers to increase production and improve on quality of their products so that they can secure market access or shelf space in the Chainstores and ultimately enjoy the benefits of this anticipated marginal increase in consumer demand owing to the recruitment of teachers country wide.
According to Teaching Council of Zambia, there are about 60,000 teachers, who are registered with the Council and are yet to be employed. Teaching Council of Zambia Registrar, Dr. Ebby Mubanga disclosed that cumulatively, over 190,000 teachers countrywide, have been registered since 2016, when the exercise started. Dr. Mubanga, explained that out of the total of registered teachers, 1-hundred and 10-thousand are employed in government schools, while 30,000 are in private institutions. Given these statistics there is need for the New Dawn Government to embark on reforming the education sector so that the private sector can expand and employ more teachers as well and among such strategies the Government can embrace is promoting education tourism especially in the rural parts of the country, e.g. setting up boarding schools.
Additionally, the strategic approach of the intervention reforms should take the angle of promoting exports of teachers given that each year the country is offloading at least 4,000 graduates annually who can be needed as skilled human capital by other African countries on the continental such as Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles, Namibia, Botswana and Kingdom of Eswatini. As a country, we need to invest more in the education sector in order to further improve the quality of teachers produced and also revamp infrastructure for learning.