HH Statement on World Teachers’ Day

HH from woodlands
HH from woodlands

5 October 2015

On World Teachers’ Day we thank our teachers and professors for their noble service, those who taught us months, years and even decades ago, and those who teach our children today.

They sit at the heart of the development of our nation, they are a key to unlock our potential and yet they often work with little support or thanks.

Today we wish to reiterate the UPND’s commitment to teachers, which is to support them to deliver the best possible education for our children. In fact, we can quickly and effectively improve our education system by simply empowering our teachers.

We pledge to listen to, support and motivate our teachers. This means consulting them on matters of education policy and initiatives; it means supporting teachers through training and the provision of appropriate facilities such as laboratories and libraries; and it means motivating teachers by offering good remuneration and better opportunities for career development.

The PF promised our teachers great things. But on every point from rural hardship allowances, to government guaranteed mortgages and loans, the PF have let them down. In fact the PF does not even service existing teacher houses. How can teachers be expected to inspire and motivate our young people if they are living in hovels?

More recently, announcements of recruitment drives have been followed with little action or evidence of progress. We have all witnessed the complete failure of the Ministry of Education on nearly all fronts in recent times. This is simply unacceptable and an insult to those who daily strive to give our children a better chance in life.

We passionately believe support for our noble teachers must be increased. They are the rock we will build the future of our country on. Education must be, along with the economy, our first priority. It is as simple as that. We know that investment in our people, if invested wisely, will deliver good returns for us all.

As we thank our teachers today let us also be inspired by their service to ourselves act as a mentors to our youths in society by educating them on how they can best improve their chance of success and helping them to identify and seize opportunities.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President