Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Another 15 000 to 20 000 qualified but unemployed teachers are being recruited by the Primary and Secondary Education Ministry in line with a directive from President Mnangagwa, with 5 300 already in place, enabling schools to run smaller classes and minimise the risk of a spike in Covid-19 infections.
The newly employed join more than 80 percent active personnel that are reporting for duty normally following the recent salary agreement between civil service unions and the Government.
This was confirmed by Primary and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema who also gave an update on the management of public examinations which started this week.
“President Mnangagwa directed that we should employ all qualified teachers and we have started that process with our ministry, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development,” said Minister Mathema.
“WHO (World Health Organisation) and the Ministry of Health requires us to reduce the number of learners in a classroom to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. We have recruited more teachers so that we break our classes into smaller numbers and we are working on recruiting more.
“The Ministry of Health has done very well in this regard. If you look at doctors and nurses most of the qualified staff are employed and we want a model that will also see all our professionals being employed as well.”
Minister Mathema said his ministry, with the technical support from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, had done well in response to the pandemic, but said those not observing public health protocols were a worry.
“We are adhering to preventative protocols and we have systems in place to respond to any cases. For example, like what happened at John Tallach we quickly activated our systems to contain the spread and make sure learners are safe.
“However, there are people in our communities who are not adhering to guidelines. These people are guardians and parents, they are risking everyone, and we continue to implore the proper wearing of face masks.
“Of course at the moment we do not have that evidence but we are suspecting that infections are coming from home, with parents and guardians who are not properly wearing their masks,” he said.
Minister Mathema reiterated the Government’s readiness to administer public examinations expected to start today after putting in place adequate measures informed by WHO guidelines, to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that held public examinations in June, recording a 17.91 percent pass rate for Ordinary Level and 67.06 percent for Advanced Level, a slight fall from last year but better than other years like 2016.
Minister Mathema said the June examinations were held successfully without any incident, and is expecting a similar outcome this time around.