By GIDEON NYENDWA
THE United Teachers Union of Zambia (UNITUZ) is saddened by the exorbitant registration and licence renewal fees that are being charged by the Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ).
UNITUZ vice president Betty Lyapa said they had noted that the majority of their members struggle to register and even fail to pay for their practicing licenses because the fees are too high for an ordinary school teacher.
Ms Lyapa said the exorbitant fees charged by TCZ are a serious enemy of progress to achieving quality education for all.
“They must be condemned in the strongest terms by all patriotic citizens,” she said.
She said they had condemned the current fees because they demotivate teachers and ultimately affect their output.
Ms Lyapa called upon all stakeholders through the Minister of Education to unconditionally reduce fees by at least 50 percent.
She said the reduction would give relief to the already highly indebted teachers who joined millions of Zambians in fighting for change of government that would put food on their table.
Ms Lyapa said TCZ had ignored issues such as raising character and status of the teaching profession to promote honourable and sound practices by holding conferences and other capacity building seminars but instead concentrated on fund raising ventures.
She said the fund raising ventures such as giving loans to teachers thereby raising questions as what would happen in an event of a dispute over loan repayment between a teacher and his regulator.
Ms Lyapa said the union was cognizant of the fact that the TCZ is a noble institution with a constitutional mandate of upholding professionalism among teachers but the current state of affairs regarding the exorbitant fees deeply saddens them.