Teachers tip govt over construction shortfalls

Mabumba High day school,
Many children live a long way from school and prefer to rent accommodation nearby. Grade 12 pupil Dorcas, 17, stopped attending the Mabumba High day school, about 20km east of provincial capital Mansa, after becoming pregnant. She said: “We were staying the three of us [girls], then we started sharing the house with three guys and that is how we paired ourselves. We just wanted some form of emotional support; life is really tough out there. So, the whole of last year we were living together with the guys and would have [unprotected] sex almost every night but everything was OK.” ~ Dorcas. Photo Credit - Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

Teachers in Kaputa district have urged government to correspond the construction of schools with that of their houses especially in the rural schools.

Basic Education Teachers Union (BETUZ) Kaputa branch chairperson Justice Kabuta noted that government had concentrated on building classroom blocks without paying attention to the teachers accommodation.

Mr. Kabuta said this had brought challenges of accommodation in rural schools where teachers were unable to find decent housing although they are paid housing allowances.

He said government should therefore address the problem by constructing teacher’s houses everywhere it was constructing classroom blocsk.

ZANIS reports that Mr. Kabuta said this at the commemoration of the World Teachers’ Day in Kaputa yesterday.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kabuta has asked government to release funds towards the upgrading of the three primary schools into secondary schools.

He said while teachers were happy that government has promised to upgrade three more schools they want the pledge to be fulfilled so that teachers who have upgraded their qualifications can be absorbed into the new schools.

Mr. Kabuta has however warned teachers against breaching the code of conduct by reporting late for work, drinking on duty and other unprofessional misconducts to desist from the vices before they are punished.

And Kaputa District Administrative Officer, Alick Kampamba reiterated government’s commitment to addressing the demands of teachers such as building of classroom and staff houses, and improving conditions of service.

Mr. Kampamba said government acknowledges the important role teachers have played in shaping the country by guiding pupils but will not hesitate to discipline the bad ones especially those found engaging in examination malpractices.