By ROGERS KALERO
GOVERNMENT should consider allocating 10,000 teachers out of the 30,000 earmarked for recruitment next year to qualified special education teachers and teachers with disabilities,” Special Education Teachers Union of Zambia (SPETUZ) has said.
SPETUZ executive director Frankson Musukwa said his union had welcomed government’s decision to employ more than 30,000 teachers and therefore it wanted to have a share from the 30,000 teachers to be employed.
“The special education equally has a critical shortage of teachers with a teacher pupil ratio estimated at about one to 90 therefore in order to address such a challenge, the government should allocate 10,000 teachers of the 30,000 earmarked for recruitment to the special education,” Dr Musukwa said.
Mr Musukwa also said before the 30,000 teachers were deployed, the government must ensure that all teachers that had acquired higher qualifications in various fields of study were upgraded to their appropriate and correct salary scales.
He said it would be demoralising for a newly recruited teacher to be in a higher salary scale, while the serving teacher remained not upgraded and in the wrong salary scale.
Mr Musukwa has also appealed to the government to consider constructing 20 boarding schools for the special needs education of the 120 secondary schools earmarked to be constructed countywide.
He said the 20 boarding schools should be tailor made with adaptive modifications for easy accessibility to learners with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) learners in all the 10 provinces.
“This sector has been neglected since independence, hence government should consider putting up 20 boarding schools with tailor made and adaptive modifications for easy accessibility to learners with disabilities,” he said.
Mr Musukwa said the only fully constructed school which was meant for special education learners was diverted and given to ordinary learners and was now operating as Faith Baptist secondary school in Chongwe district.