Rural areas have failed to attract adequately qualified teachers because they lack essential amenities, Basic Teachers Union of Zambia (BETUS) general secretary Geoffrey Simuntala has said.
In an interview, Mr. Simuntala defended the lack of enthusiasm by teachers to work in remote rural areas because of lack of lack of amenities.
He said teachers were ready to work anywhere but that housing was a great challenge to them in rural areas.
Mr Simuntala said Government should address the challenge of lack of accommodation and make rural teaching attractive by providing teachers with necessary support which would make them stay in such environment.
“There are many reasons why teachers run away from rural schools and one of them is lack of accommodation. Government should address this problem adequately and put necessary measures to attract teachers to rural areas unlike the current situation,” he said.
Mr. Simuntala said failure to streamline rural hardship allowances was also discouraging teachers to live in remote areas.
“Government should address the problem of the implementation of rural hardship allowances which was supposed to attract teachers to rural areas. Government should also address the issue of rural electrification,” he said.
On Wednesday Minister of Education and Vocation Training Michael Kaingu said Government was still working on modalities on how they would maintain teachers deployed to rural schools.
Dr. Kaingu said Government was committed to ensuring that rural education was attended to just as urban one by ensuring that qualified teachers were deployed to teach in those areas.
He said Government had set up a programme to recruit 5000 teachers to be distributed to all provinces and districts.