Government wants a professional teaching service

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Government says it remains committed to having a professional teaching service which operates on virtues of transparency, accountability, coherence, fairness and merit.


Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training John Phiri says government has since put in place the Teaching Profession Act of 2013 which will see the establishment of a Teaching Council.


Dr Phiri stated that the Teaching Council together with the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) will prescribe a code of ethics for teachers in the country.


Dr Phiri said this in Kabwe today when he officiated at a workshop for Provincial Education Officers (PEOs), District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) and teachers Unions organised by the Teaching Service Commission.


He said the staff appraisal system had in the recent past broken down where most appointments and promotions were given to un deserving persons.


“In the past, thousands were selected unprofessionally and so many crooks infiltrated the well meaning restructuring the ministry was doing. People were promoted using a system of psychology and this has to stop” Dr Phiri said.


The Education Minister said government wants to bring sanity to the teaching service by removing politics in the appointment and promotion of teachers to decision making positions.


Dr Phiri stressed that there is need to rid the system of bad practices of nepotism, tribalism and perceived corruption so that the best teachers are filtered through the system.


He also urged teachers unions to co-exist in addressing the challenges of teachers in the country.


The Minister also challenged the workshop participants to not only look at appointments but to also consider what good they can do with the position accorded to them to benefit the nation.


Dr Phiri commended the TSC for organising the meeting as it will provide the ministry with vital information to enable government address the challenges of teachers.


And Central Province Permanent Secretary Annie Sinyangwe has called on DEBS and PEOs to strive for high standards of discipline as they carry out their work.


Ms Sinyangwe said the heads of teachers should be diligent and committed to work as they have a role to play in carrying out government mandate of improving the teaching service.


She warned people against abusing government resources stating that the Patriotic Front (PF) government has addressed their allowances and they should therefore leave public resources for public activities.


She challenged women to take up leadership positions saying women should not fall victim to complacency and familiarity as it leads to poor performance of work.


Meanwhile, the Teaching Service Commission Chairperson Jennifer Chiwela has said the commission has dealt with 1,158 cases on the Copper-belt and more than 1000 cases in Lusaka since its appointment four months ago.


Ms Chiwela said the commission also received 70 oral submissions from aggrieved teachers and officers, 40 from the Copper-belt and 30 from Lusaka.


She assured that the commission will not relent in carrying out its mandate prudently and with a sense of justice so as to change the negative perception held by the public about the teaching service.


The Teaching Service Commission as appointed by President Michael Sata this year operates under four mandates of appointing professionally qualified persons to the Teaching Service, to promote deserving persons, to exercise disciplinary control in the teaching service, and to separate those who’ve reached retirement age.