Teachers in Zambia mourn KK
By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Teachers from all the 116 districts of Zambia have joined the Kaunda family, and the rest of the world in grieving the death of one of the greatest sons of Africa in Dr Kenneth Kaunda,fondly known as KK through the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ).
NAQEZ executive director Aaron Chansa says while Dr Kaunda was globally well known and loved for helping to liberate numerous African countries from jaws of colonialism and apartheid, Teachers and Zambians will always remember him for his unique passion for quality education.
“After rescuing Zambians from colonial misrule, Kaunda and his UNIP Government found existing one of the most racially segregated educational systems in the world, Government then embarked on a number of serious reforms to address the social, economic and political inequalities which existed before 1964,” he said.
Mr Chansa says one of these reforms gave education enormous priority such that under the First National Development Plan (1966-1970).
“School fees were completely abolished in order to afford all citizens chance to go to school, apart from giving free and quality education to Zambians, Kaunda and his Government rapidly constructed primary and secondary schools across the country, technical and trade schools, teacher training colleges, and uniquely built the University of Zambia in 1966 using locally available resources,” he said.
Mr Chansa said that Dr Kaunda provided education opportunities for all citizens without any form of racial, tribal or religious discrimination. We commend him for this heroic feat.
“We remember that in May 1976, Dr Kaunda personally involved the public in the formulation of one educational reform, the public debates that ensued from involving the Zambian citizens culminated into one of the most comprehensive educational reforms in Zambia, the Educational Reforms of 1977,” he said
Mr Chansa says these important reforms introduced vocational and technical subjects in Zambian schools.
He said they also introduced production unit (PU) in the schools.
“This was chiefly to prepare learners for the world of work as opposed to only depending on white colour jobs. Most importantly, these changes were aimed at making education an instrument for personal and national development,” he said.
Mr Chansa has since appealed to the current political leaders in Zambia to give priority to funding education, motivating teachers and recruiting at least 10 times the 1,200 teachers being recruited in 2021 out of the over 55,000 unemployed trained teachers roaming our streets.
“While the world mourns our great teacher and hero KK, who wanted all Zambians to access quality education regardless of one’s station in society, we mourn him well as a country by making serious commitments to the education sector, because he strongly believed that no nation could develop beyond the level of its education,” he said.