There is a critical shortage of early education teachers in Luapula Province and efforts to recruit more tutors to correct the state of affairs should be taken now, says Provincial education officer Smith Bweupe.
Mr Bweupe said more than 1,000 early education teachers were needed in the province because the current 100 were not enough to cater for all schools.
Mr Bweupe said the demand for early education was high because people have realized that the only way to lessen poverty in the country was by ensuring that the nation had sustainable education base
He said that sustainability was possible if people realised the importance of education by changing their mindsets.
“We need manpower to sustain these introduced early childhood education. It is encouraging that some schools are using their initiatives to ensure they manage such programmes,” he said.
“Like here in Mansa, we have about 88 schools that have shared the current 100 teachers and you can see the gap in between.”
He cited areas like Lunga in Milengi district that were in dire need of teachers because people had come to realise the value of education.
Mr Bweupe said the province was vast and the demand for education was high such that even the government alone could not manage without the support from the community.
But Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) has vowed to campaign for the early childhood education programmes in Zambia.
MNCRD executive director Henry Kabwe said his organisation would ensure that the implementation of early childhood education was fulfilled together with infrastructure development.
Mr Kabwe said that a lot must be done so that people knew the importance of sending their children to school early.
He said that early childhood education would in future break the high poverty levels that most rural areas of Zambia faced.
“Our target is to sensitise people in rural areas on the importance of education and we want children in rural areas to have access to education just like any other. We want to make a change and improve the livelihood of our children, “he said.
Mr Kabwe said his organisation was keen to monitor the achievement, especially in remote areas that were most affected.
He said that Zambia should reach the Millennium Development Goal in education through concerted efforts of all interested stakeholders.