The Sunday News
THE Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) is pushing for a Teaching Professional Council (TPC) to regulate and licence educators.
Zimta chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said the idea was aimed at professionalising the teaching service.
In an interview Mr Ndlovu said the TPC would provide a code of ethics for teachers and resultantly enhance quality service delivery.
“We have been working on the TPC since 1999 in line with the Nziramasanga Commission. We want it to go together with Government curriculum review process so that it enhances performance of teachers,” he said.
Mr Ndlovu said the council would be a corporate body responsible for registering and regulating operations of the profession.
“The idea of a TPC is to establish a code of ethics, principles and standards to regularise our behaviour and conduct, including entry and exit into the profession. It should be a corporate body responsible for all teachers from primary to tertiary level.
“Currently we have a code of conduct but that is a government document under Statutory Instrument 1 of 2000 which covers all civil servants and generalises all acts of misconduct. The Teaching Professional Council would be responsible for issuing practicing licences to professionally qualified teachers and to handle disciplinary issues,” he said.
The TPC was likely to improve performance of teachers as they would now be obliged to meet certain standards as prescribed by the council.
“We want to believe this will enhance teachers’ well being, as we will refer to it when a misdemeanour occurs. It will define entry qualifications, content, skills, attitudes, and orientation of teachers as well as enhancing their performance, a thing that will make it easier to deal with underperformance,” Mr Ndlovu said.
He said once in place, the TPC would democratise the profession by giving educators an opportunity to regulate themselves.
Mr Ndlovu said they were now working on legalities of the body after successfully presenting the concept to the Government.
“Initially it was a Zimta idea which we sold to the Government and it is being taken as part of strategy for curriculum review. We are now at the stage where the concept had been presented and accepted and we are pushing for the next stage of creating a legal environment which would push the government to amend the relevant Act. All we are saying is, if other professions have regulating bodies, why can’t teachers have their own?” he said.
The TPC would also deal with the contentious extra lessons issue, where parents have expressed concern that some teachers and schools were milking them through extra lessons while not putting much effort in class.
Mr Ndlovu said in the past extra lessons would be done for examinable classes and money was charged for services at school as opposed to nowadays where teachers demand money for themselves.
He said such conduct was putting the teaching profession into disrepute.