Basic Education Teachers Union (BETUZ) President Cosmas Mukuka says this year’s Annual General Meeting for the union comes in the wake of various policy proclamations that have brought about debate by both education providers and stakeholders in the country.
Mr Mukuka said issues like the new curriculum system, new curriculum framework, free basic education, job re-evaluation and re-grading exercise and also the teaching professional Act NO.5 of 2013 could have a negative impact on the quality of education in Zambia, if not well addressed.
He also implored government to improve the conditions of service for teachers and increase the budgetary allocation to the education sector.
Mr Mukuka said this in Livingstone on Friday during the opening of the 9th BETUZ Conference held under the theme; ‘Towards professional excellence in provision of quality education through participatory governance’.
He said if reversed, government‘s lack of commitment on the commencement of the 2014 collective bargaining process for improved salaries would give teachers morale to execute their duties effectively.
However the Deputy Permanent Secretary for education Christine Mayondi said in responding to the call for teachers which is in line with the conference theme’s and last year’s slogan for the teachers day celebration ,it is important for all stakeholders and government to work together to attain the goals and ensure delivery of quality of education.
Ms Mayondi urged BETUZ to underscore its obligation as representatives of teachers in the basic sector to respond and meet the needs of teachers in a complex environment.
“I wish to call on all teachers to be exemplary in their tour of duty so that they are role models to the general membership and further challenge them to be actively involved in rolling out the revised curriculum by explaining it to the public and help them see its relevance,” she said.
The conference was attended by the various local unions and international guests from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho.