Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) has asked governments to consider recruiting special needs teachers because there is shortage of the teachers in schools.
The call was made at a press briefing in Lilongwe on Thursday after CSEC submitted its report to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Speaking with reporters, CSEC Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe said the achievement of Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG) 4 and the transformation of education within the SADC region will depend heavily on teachers and education personnel that are empowered, adequately recruited, well trained and supported.
He added that teachers, trainers and other education personnel are generally considered the single most influential variable in an education system for achieving learning outcomes.
“Based on our assessments in the region, currently teachers and education personnel are confronted by four major challenges such as difficulties in assuring the qualifications and professional development needs of teaching personnel, low status and poor working conditions and lack of capacity to develop teacher leadership, autonomy and innovation,” he explained.
On improvement of status and working conditions for teachers, he said that SADC member states should ensure that teachers working in hard to reach areas are provided with a minimum of 20% of their salaries as hardship allowances, adjustable annually to inflation.
He also that they have asked for investment in inclusive school infrastructure including pre-school classrooms, outdoor playcentres and resource centres to ensure that teachers have better working environment.
Kondowe explained that they are also asking SADC member states to mobilize more resources towards education by increasing fiscal space for spending on education.
“We implore governments to adhere to the 15-20% of the national budget or 4-6% of the country’s GDP allocation to education,” he said.
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