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50, 000 JOB SEEKERS

By Peter Sichali GOVERNMENT should critically address the issue of teacher recruitment because there are now over 50, 000 trained teachers without employment, Basic Teacher’s Union of Zambia (BETUZ) secretary-general Henry Sinkala has said.
Mr Sinkala said there has never been any teacher recruitment in the past two years and the number of teachers who have graduated was increasing. Mr Sinkala said there has never been any teacher recruitment in the past two years and the number of teachers who have graduated was increasing. He said in the 2021 budget, Government should allocate funds for teacher recruitment to reduce on the pupil to teacher ratio. Mr Sinkala said in an interview that the pupil to teacher ratio was still high especially in rural areas and needed Government’s attention. “Our expectation from 2021 national budget is that, Government should address teacher recruitment. There has never been net recruitment the past two years and the number of graduates swelled to over 50, 000,” Mr Sinkala said. And Mr Sinkala said Government should consider at least 10 percent increment of teachers’ salaries in the 2021 national budget. He said there was need for Government to seriously address the issue of conditions of service for teachers for extension of the 2020 collective agreement which expired in July. Mr Sinkala said as Covid-19 has drastically affected the cost of living, there is need for review for teacher’s emoluments and conditions of service. “The collective agreement which expired in July has been extended to December this year, so beyond that we expect the budget to address salaries for our members,” Mr Sinkala said. Mr Sinkala said the agreement that gave a pay rise of four percent to our members came to an end in July 2020 therefore teachers are very expectant of an increment. He said teachers are expectant of a pay rise of 10 percent and above. “If coffers would allow, we expect an increase of 10 percent and above.”

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