THE Basic Education Teachers Union (BETUZ) has re- embarked on a ‘Building Material Project’ as a means to reduce accommodation crisis for basic school teachers in the country. THE Basic Education Teachers Union (BETUZ) has re-embarked on a ‘Building Material Project’ as a means to reduce the accommodation crisis for basic school teachers in the country.
BETUZ embarked on this project about six years ago but had abandoned it because of lack of finances and corporate assistance.
The program which was re-launched recently was aimed at improving the living conditions of basic school teachers during their employment tenure and after retirement from service.
In an interview with the Lusaka Star, BETUZ Director of Public and International Relations Hillary Chipango said the union decided to re-introduce the project in order to reduce the many challenges faced by basic school teachers.
He noted that teachers usually end up being destitute upon retirement because of lack of accommodation.
Mr Chipango said the Ministry of Education cannot provide adequate housing units to carter for all the teachers.
He said such a project would help compliment government’s efforts in trying to reduce accommodation crisis.
Mr Chipango noted that the union has engaged the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders to help provide building materials to teachers in form of loans.
“Teachers need to prepare their teaching aids before going to teach and to do this they must have access to proper shelter. The accomodation challenges faced by most teachers has negatively impacted on their performance,” Mr Chipango said.
He further revealed that five provinces had been identified to kick start the project adding that they were the most vulnerable provinces with the challenge of accommodation for basic school teachers.
The provinces selected included Lusaka, Eastern, Luapula, Southern and Northern provinces.
“As a union we hope that by the end of the year, measures will be put in place to reach the remaining five provinces. Our target is reaching out to 1000 BETUZ members by December, 31st 2013,” he stated.
Mr Chipango has since appealed to the corporate world to come on board and help with the smooth running of the project as it would motivate teachers in delivering quality education.