Government has taken over 78 community schools in Solwezi district following poor performance and under staffing in most schools, Solwezi Education Board Secretary Evans Kamwana has revealed.
Mr Kamwana told the Daily Nation in an interview that there are many community schools in the district which had been taken over and turned them into conventional primary schools.
“Community schools are started by the communities themselves, now because they are run and are managed by mostly untrained teachers. So, Government decided to take over these schools so that trained and qualified staff are deployed,’ he said.
Mr Kamwana said the process of taking over the community schools was long over due to cost implications.
“Mind you these schools are not gazetted and do not have an establishment, so for government to take over it means an establishment has to be put in place for each school, which also comes with its cost implications, and one thing worth noting here is that this is an on-going programme. So, slowly we bringing these schools on board because of the wage bill,’ he explained.
Mr Kamwana said due to the on-going integration programme, most schools in the district have low staffing levels.
‘’For example, if a school had an establishment of eight teachers then you remove three from there, it means you create a shortage there. At the end of the day, you will find that there is shortage of teachers in almost all schools.
‘’Of course 5000 teachers were recruited recently and about 180 were deployed to the district, but still the number is not enough,” he said