By CHUSA SICHONE –
THE Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has implored male teachers to encourage female pupils to aim higher and stop regarding them as potential girlfriends or wives.
ZANEC executive director Grace Sinkamba observed with concern that some male teachers, especially those in rural areas, had a tendency of engaging in relationships with their female learners, because of a negative mindset towards the girl-child.
Ms Sinkamba said in an interview in Lusaka recently that teachers were very influential people in society and thus it was imperative that they used their influence to encourage the girl-child not to continue with education to avoid early marriages.
“Being role models, we need to encourage, especially girls in rural areas to aspire to be Inonge Winas (Vice-President). A teacher, by their very nature, is a parent of a learner when the learner is in that learning and school environment, so they should not see their learners girlfriends or potential wives,” Ms Sinkamba said.
Ms Sinkamba noted that teachers in rural areas were held in high esteem such that learners and residents believed whatever teachers said as being true.
She warned teachers who were in a habit of engaging in relationships with learners that they risked having their practicing certificates revoked following the Teaching Council of Zambia’s introduction of code of ethics for teachers recently.
ZANEC believed that education was at the centre of development as without it Zambia would not be able to achieve the Vision 2030.
Ms Sinkamba appealed to all ZANEC member organisations to include girls, women, persons with disabilities and albinism as well as young people in their programming.