By PETER SICHALI
MERGING of Ministries of General Education and that of Higher Education will curtail wastage of resources which came about as result of duplication of functions.
Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia (BETUZ) and Professional Teachers Union of Zambia(PROTUZ) said the merging of the two ministries was a welcome move as it would reduce unnecessary costs through duplication of functions.
BETUZ General Secretary, Henry Sinkala, however said government should allocate enough resources to the Ministry for smooth functioning and implementation of programmes in the two sub sectors.
Mr Sinkala said the Ministry should have Permanent Secretaries for the two sub sector for effective implementation of programmes.
PROTUZ Secretary General, Kangwa Musenge, on the other hand said the merging of the two ministries was long overdue.
Mr Musenge said there were a number of duplicated functions and duties at the two ministries.
“The merging of Ministry of General and higher Education is long overdue because there were a number of duplicated administrative functions that were being done and this was wastage of resources,” he said. Mr Musenge appealed to the new Education Minister, Daglous Siakalima, to clean-up the ministry for effective implementation of the UPND manifesto.
He said the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) was highly politicized and corrupt resulting into politically motivated transfers, promotions and appointments.
“We hope to see a clean-up of the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Service Commission which was highly politicized and corrupt,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sinkala said the new Minister should address teacher unemployment of about 50,000 in line with the campaign to address pupil-teacher ratio.
Mr Sinkala said urged the Ministry to actualize automatic teacher upgrade for those that had acquired higher qualifications.
He also called for increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Education to meet the standards.