The National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) is urging insurance companies to cease illegal deductions from teachers’ payslips, emphasizing the need for government intervention and refunds for affected educators.
According to an official statement by Simui Bornface Namunji, the Deputy Provincial Coordinator at NAQEZ in Western Province, the organization has been inundated with reports from teachers across all 16 districts of the province concerning unauthorized deductions imposed on their payslips without consent.
Mr. Namunji expressed concern over the recurring issue where canceled policies reappear, often accompanied by additional policies, resulting in substantial financial losses for teachers, some facing deductions as high as K1,200. While two insurance companies are identified as persistent offenders, their names have been deliberately withheld from the statement.
NAQEZ alleges that these companies may be colluding with accounting and human resource officers at the district level of the Ministry of Education to execute the illicit deductions.
Despite the organization’s efforts to engage with the companies for resolution, they continue to exploit teachers, especially those working in remote areas.
Highlighting the potential impact on education quality, Mr. Namunji warned that if left unchecked, the illegal deductions could hamper teachers’ ability to address learners’ needs. The organization views these actions by the insurance companies as daylight robbery and a threat to the educational system.
NAQEZ is urgently calling on the government to intervene and compel these companies to cease their illegal policies affecting teachers. Additionally, the organization demands that the insurance companies refund affected teachers with a 15% interest on the accumulated deductions, considering the inconveniences and hardships faced by the educators.
As the issue escalates, teachers’ unions, education advocates, and concerned citizens are closely watching for a swift and decisive response from the government to safeguard the financial well-being of teachers and the quality of education in the province.