LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
GOVERNMENT should swing into action and arrest the industrial chaos in private schools where teachers are paid less than the legal minimum wage.
The call was made yesterday by National Action for Quality Education (NAQEZ), executive director Aaron Chansa after its research last year which discovered that in some private schools teachers were getting as low K800 a month as their salaries.
In a statement issued to the Sun, Mr Chansa said it was gravely disturbing over the horrible working conditions for teachers in most private schools across Zambia.
Mr Chansa said teachers in those institutions had continued to get slavery salaries and that it was a big insult to the teaching profession and could not be allowed to continue.
“On June 30 last year, we issued a statement detailing the findings of the survey we did with regards to conditions of service of teachers in private schools,
“The national survey revealed that teachers working in most privately owned schools are exposed to paltry salaries below the statutory minimum wage,” he said
Mr Chansa said it was shocking that some trained teachers were getting as little as K800a month as salary.
NAQEZ immediately called on the Ministry of Labour to intervene in those schools but to date it remained unmoved and the ugly picture had remained unresolved.
Mr Chansa said as NAQEZ they demanded that all teachers in Zambia be respected and rewarded handsomely for shaping the futures of people, adding that the nation should further be informed that most owners of private schools in Zambia did not want their teachers to be unionized.
He said the sad reality exposed teachers to a lot of intimidations and job insecurities but encouraged them to unite and form a trade union, which would advance their interests.
Mr Chansa said in some well-known cases, teachers went for months without receiving the same slavery wages.
He appealed to the Minister of Labour, Joyce Nonde, to find time and visit some private schools and see for herself how teachers were suffering through clear violation of the law.