Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent—
GOVERNMENT has ordered the recruitment of 2 300 teachers as schools reopen for the third term today, in a move expected to address manpower shortages. The order will facilitate the smooth implementation of the new curriculum that was recently introduced by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. It will also bring smiles to thousands of teachers who graduated, but could not get jobs after the Public Service Commission (PSC) froze recruitment.
The PSC cited the need for staff rationalisation to cut the Government wage bill which is chewing a huge chunk of the National Budget. A special dispensation was, however, given to critical sectors, among them the teaching fraternity.
In a letter to Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango dated August 30, PSC secretary Mrs Pretty Sunguro said the new teachers will be recruited across all provinces.
They will replace teachers whose terms were terminated in the 2016 and 2017 financial year. “Please be advised that, acting in terms of Section 8 (1) (a) of the Public Service Act (Chapter16:04), the Public Service Commission hereby appoints 2 300 teachers with effect from date of assumption of duty,” read the statement.
“Further be advised that, in terms of Section 7 (1) of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2000, the members will serve a probationary period of not less than one year and thereafter become confirmed members at the end of the probationary period. The appointments shall be on pensionable conditions of service subject to security vetting and satisfactory medical examinations.”
Dr Utete-Masango was not immediately available for comment yesterday. Apex Council information and publicity secretary Mr George Mushipe, who is also the president of the Zimbabwe Democratic Teachers Union, welcomed the development.
“The recruitment of the 2 300 by the Government is welcome. While we are alive to the fiscal space that the Government is currently enduring, we feel that the over 15 000 qualified teachers should be absorbed so as to address the current high teacher: pupil ratio in most schools,” he said.
“At the moment, we have thousands of teachers who are roaming the streets. We feel that all of the teachers should be absorbed to act as a catalyst on the implementation of the new curriculum as well as to comply with the Education Act.
Zimbabwe Rural Teachers Association vice president and national spokesperson Mr Gibson Mushangu said Government should consider deploying more teachers in the rural areas.
“The move was long overdue. For meaningful teaching to take place in the rural areas, we expect Government to fill in all the vacancies. We do not expect children in the remote areas to be shortchanged,” he said.
“We have been calling on Government to recruit considering that they have not been hiring relief teachers to cushion those who are employed. The new curriculum calls for more teachers who have the capacity to teach indigenous languages, sciences as well as of Mass displays and visual and Performing Arts.”
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira is on record stating that the PSC was ready to recruit more teachers to address shortages in the sector.
Minister Mupfumira said the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education urgently required 7 000 additional teachers. She said recruitment would be done in phases.
This was after Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora said the 7 000 more teachers would enable full implementation of the new curriculum.
The new curriculum has the new syllabus which comprises of Mass Displays and Visual and Performing Arts which need to be taught by skilled personnel.