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DEBT SWAP BEST FOR TEACHERS, SAYS UNION

By JOHN KOMBE

THE National Union of Public and Private Educators of Zambia (NUPPEZ) has insisted that the debt swap agreement is still the best option as majority of teachers are highly indebted.

NUPPEZ Director of Communications, Jacklyn Chimwanga, said that most loan deductions for teachers were above K1, 500 per month and as such the debt swap was the best option given the prevailing circumstances.

Ms Chimwanga was reacting to some stakeholders who suggested that the government must instead consider increasing salaries for civil servants.

She pointed out that government must continue with the debt swap which was recently implemented.

She said that the union was ready to engage the new government on the best way the much appreciated intervention could be upheld.

Ms Chimwanga stressed that the teachers were highly indebted and that this had negatively affected productivity and the debt swap was a great relief.

She said that it was for this reason that the union welcomed the debt swap after the government honoured the agreement with the unions.

Ms Chimwanga expressed confidence that the new government would consider the plight of the civil servants even as it reviews the matter.

Meanwhile, a teacher in Chongwe who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the teachers were anxious to hear what the new government’s position on the debt swap agreement was.

“We are very anxious right now and we don’t know whether the new government will reverse the debt swap agreement. We realise that the government wants to ensure that it reduces the debt burden, but it must consider our plight if we will be motivated to teach,” she said.

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