By Kalobwe Bwalya
GOVERNMENT will this year recruit 2,000 teachers to ration the teacher-pupil gap, General Education Minister Dennis Wanchinga.
Dr Wanchinga also said government was in the process of gazetting 1, 700 community schools before the end of this year, in addition to 2, 800 that had been gazetted out of which 1, 200 have been given establishments.
Dr Wanchinga said that government will consider deploying teachers to be recruited in community schools, saying that his ministry attached great importance to gazetting of schools because it allowed for the establishments to be put in place in such schools.
The minister said this during questions for oral answer in parliament yesterday when PF Chitambo Member of Parliament Remember Mutale, wanted to find out when the community schools in his constituency will be gazetented into government schools.
Dr Wanchinga explained that Lunsambwa, Mpempa, Mangala, Musangashi, Chititima, Kalungu and Kaoma community school were among the 1, 700 schools expected to be gazetted this year.
Although he could not give specific time frame when the gazetting of the community schools would start, he was confident that the ministry would expedite the process before the end of this year.
Dr Wanchinga hoped that the recruitment of the 2,000 teachers would cushion the shortage of teachers as well as teacher -pupil ratio.
He appealed to the people in communities to continue engaging teachers on interim basis and those who were reasonably qualified to teach in the community schools and he thanked the untrained for working tirelessly.
And Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili wondered why the passing rate for grade seven pupils from community schools performed highly compared to pupils in government schools.
In response, Dr Wanchinga said, it was government‘s mandate to ensure that it employed more teachers, adding that and it will remain government‘s policy to ensure that quality education was delivered in all parts of Zambia.
Dr Wanchinga explained that community schools were usually operating in line with private schools because there was a strong rapport between them.