Teachers demand correct salary grades

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) government must immediately correct the distortions in the salary grades of teachers, Basic Education Teachers Union (BETUZ) president Cosmas Mukuka has said.

And Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) was left out during this year’s World Teacher’s Day commemoration.

Union President Leonard Hikaumba told Daily Nation that ZCTU did not receive any former invitation for the event which was organized by government.

During the commemoration, teachers demanded that government must revisit its decision to abolish private extra lessons conducted in government schools.

“Government should place teacher’s salary scales according to their qualifications. The current distortion is a major challenge,” Mr Mukuka said.

Speaking during the commemoration of the World Teacher’s Day whose theme was; “Unite for Quality, Education for Better Tomorrow,” in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mukuka said government should not only concentrate on salaries but address other allowances.

“Housing allowances is not meaningful to teachers who are located in rural areas,” he said.

Mr Mukuka observed that the teachers were operating under very difficult conditions.

He cited poor and lack of adequate infrastructure of classrooms and teacher’s accommodation as poor conditions of services.

Mr Mukuka also observed that the fusing of the ministries of Education and the Science and Vocational Training had created greater problems for the teachers.

“The funding of two ministries which are now one is just like a drop in the ocean,” he said.

Mr Mukuka urged the Minister of Education John Phiri to be the loudest in Parliament when debating his ministry after the 2015 national budget presentations.

And Dr Phiri told the teachers union to avoid politicising teachers’ day celebrations.

“Next year don’t turn this cerebration into lamentations. Next time if you want to clear your challenges in the union, our doors are open, don’t wait for the cerebrations to air your grievances,” he said.

Dr Phiri urged the teachers countrywide to use their certificates as foundations for improving their professions.

“The certificates, diplomas and degrees you got on your graduation day should be used to build on your professional skills,” he said.

Dr Phiri told the teachers to be proud of their career adding that it was an ordinary job.

“It is an ordinary job, a profession of all professions. You must be very proud,” he said.

Dr Phiri said teachers in the country had an onus task and advised them to take it serous.