The Government has recruited 1 500 teachers since the beginning of the year to address the teacher-learner ratio and ensure strict compliance to Covid-19 protocols.
The latest recruitments are part of an exercise to add 5 000 teachers to the education sector, which is envisaged to improve the teacher-learner ratio to 1:35.
Treasury has already allocated resources for the exercise.
Statistics indicate that there are over 4,5 million learners in Zimbabwe and about 140 000 teachers.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education director for communications and advocacy Mr Taungana Ndoro told The Sunday Mail that newly recruited teachers will be deployed to schools with greatest need.
“To date, a total of 1 500 teachers have been recruited, leaving a balance of 3 500 from the initial allocation of 5 000 teachers that was approved by Treasury.
“The teachers that we have recruited and the ones we will recruit will be distributed where there is greatest need,” he said.
Mr Ndoro said the plan is to maintain teacher-learner ratio according to standard operating procedure.
“The current approved ratios are: ECD to Grade 2, a ratio of 1:20; junior and secondary level, a ratio of 1:35; and Advanced Level, a ratio of 1:25. That is the ratio that we recommend as per our procedures, but you will find that the ratios vary in schools depending on the availability of space and teachers.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou commended the Government for recruiting more teachers but said more should be hired to fill existing gaps.
“We have a deficit of 60 000 teachers in schools. Recruitment of 1 500, let alone 5 000, falls far short of the threshold needed in schools,” he said.
“There is need to adopt a robust policy that can lower the teacher-to-pupil ratio in schools and intrinsically motivate teachers in schools to meet the educational skills revolution under Vision 2030.