Zambia’s rural schools face teacher exodus

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A FLOCK of newly hired teachers, about 60 of them have taken flight from the rural roosts of Zambezi district, seeking warmer pastures under the guise of illness.

Zambia Daily Mail reports that 61 teachers posted to rural schools in Zambezi following the recruitment of over 30,000 teachers in 2022 have left the North-Western Province district on transfer with most of them citing illness.

District Commissioner Simeon Machayi, a hawk not easily fooled by feigned feathers, suspects something else is fluttering their wings.

He sees these tutoring birds of passage lured by the shiny splendor of urban nests.

Machayi is not convinced by the reasons advanced by most teachers, who continue to draw their salaries allocated to their services for Zambezi District.

He said most of the teachers sent to Zambezi look at the area as remote and fail to adapt to the environment.

“Most of them I do not know how they negotiate with doctors to write them medical conditions which they never brought up at the time they were seeking for employment,” he said in an interview with Daily Mail.

“From the over 500 teachers that we received in 2023, about 61 have already left the district on transfers.

“These are transfers that are not initiated from here, they just come with letters already signed to the DEBS office that ‘I have already been transferred and I am going back’, but these are the teachers that are still drawing salaries under Zambezi.”

Machayi said he would soon submit a list of those teachers that have been transferred from Zambezi to the Administration office in Solwezi in hopes that those mentioned teachers are removed from the district’s payroll or dismissed.

Kalemba February 10, 2024

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