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MORETA Zambia demands audit of schools over absentee teacher concerns

MORETA Zambia, through its Executive Director Dr. Samuel Mbumba, has demanded a thorough staff audit in government schools across Zambia. 

The call comes amidst growing concerns over absentee teachers who, instead of fulfilling their duties in classrooms, have allegedly immersed themselves in unionism activities, neglecting their primary responsibility of educating students.

Dr. Mbumba highlighted that despite the annual deployment of teachers by the government, the pupil-teacher ratio remains unsatisfactory, adversely affecting academic performance at grade 7, 9, and 12 levels. 

He emphasized that many teachers seem to have abandoned their teaching responsibilities upon confirmation by the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), opting to pursue other interests or seek better opportunities elsewhere.

According to Dr. Mbumba, the proliferation of unions within the Ministry of Education has exacerbated the situation, with some teachers prioritizing union membership over teaching duties. 

He criticized what he termed as a “gold rush” for union positions, leading to a state of confusion and disunity among teachers, ultimately hindering effective representation and negotiation for better conditions of service.

Moreover, Dr. Mbumba expressed concern over the involvement of school administrators, including those at the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) and Provincial Education Officer (PEO) levels, in union activities, thereby exacerbating the crisis.

MORETA Zambia has urged the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) to conduct a comprehensive staff audit to identify teachers who have abandoned their classrooms to engage in unionism activities without proper authorization. Such an audit, they argue, will shed light on the extent of absenteeism and its impact on educational outcomes.

Dr. Mbumba cautioned that if left unchecked, the situation could lead to a severe shortage of teachers in schools, despite government records indicating an adequate number of educators. 

He urged both the TSC and the Ministry of Education to address the issue promptly to safeguard the quality of education for Zambian students.

In response to these allegations, the Ministry of Education and the TSC have yet to issue an official statement. However, stakeholders anticipate swift action to address the concerns raised by MORETA Zambia and ensure that teachers fulfill their duties effectively for the betterment of the education sector in Zambia.

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