Zambezi Region in acute shortage of librarians

The appointment of full-time librarians for different Government schools in and around the Zambezi Region remains a challenge.

Zambezi Regional Education Director Austin Samupwa voiced concern of the acute shortage of librarians to serve a school population of 33 352 when delivering his 2015 school academic message at the Education Regional Office here on Monday.

Although the exact shortage statistics of librarians could not be provided, Samupwa said a large number of institutions from the 102 primary and secondary schools in the region are currently without qualified library staff.

He said the challenge is however now receiving attention, as the regional office is now engaged in talks with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to ensure the norms are revised and the appointment of full-time librarians is approved.

“Part of our challenges is that our schools are without librarians. This is why we wish to engage with the head office for the appointment of full-time librarians for our qualifying schools. During the first trimester of the school year, we also wish to engage the Service Point Committee to strengthen the use of our libraries and Teachers’ Resource Centres,” he said.

Another concern highlighted by Samupwa is the developing trend of adult literacy classes’ attendance dropping during certain times of the year.

“I call upon communities to fully take advantage of the opportunities to become literate. I advise them (scholars) to balance their choice with a quest to learn. We shall make an effort to visit some of the communities and repeat the same message,” he said.

Samupwa used the platform to also warn school principals and heads of departments to not register learners older than 17 years old who have failed to attain the Grade 10 passing mark, and also called on parents whose children do not find placement in Grade 11 at desired schools, to have them admitted elsewhere.

“I wish to repeat my earlier call to our parents that where a school is full, please seek alternative admission to another school as directed by the admission committee. My office shall ensure that no inferior education is offered at any one of our institutions.

As for those who have failed Grade 10, they should seek alternative means to further their studies as only those who are 17 years old and below will be allowed to repeat the grade. I urge principals to give these youngsters a second chance as directed by the central government,” Sampuwa said.