By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has commended President Edgar Lungu, for listening to the cries of teachers across the nation and intervening against the untimely reopening.
General education permanent secretary technical services Jobbicks Kalumba last week announced that schools will reopen on July, 8, 2021, a move that was widely criticized by teachers unions and parents.
NAOEZ executive director Aaron Chansa said without the presidential intervention, the nation could have forcefully dragged teachers and learners into schools without any regard to health protocols.
“Currently, many schools in Zambia are far from being ready to combat the Coronavirus because of lack of funds to purchase preventive items, as we thank the President for not reopening schools this week; we expect significant financial efforts into schools, such as meaningful funding that will enable our poor schools to buy hand sanitizers and infra-red thermometers. For physical distancing to be realistic in classes, more than one million desks are required. It may not be easy, but the country has no choice over this matter. We need desks in schools,” he said.
Mr Chansa said NAQEZ expects there will be more recruitment of teachers because sessional lessons will demand for extra Teaching staff.
He said that currently, there is a deficit of more than 44,000 teachers in public schools, adding this makes provision of quality education wishful.
“We now invite the corporate community to donate various preventive items to schools. The struggle against this pandemic cannot be won by Government alone. It requires collective action by all stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Chansa said that between July 8, and July, 15, 2021, NAQEZ using its Nationwide structures and members, will carry out physical inspections in schools across the country to ascertain their readiness for reopening.