BY LORRAINE MUROMO
ZIMBABWE requires more than 90 000 new teachers following a mass exodus of educators as they opted for better-paying opportunities.
Teachers unions yesterday told NewsDay that the mass exodus of teachers due to poor working conditions was threatening Zimbabwe’s education sector.
Currently, the country has around 136 000 teachers, while the teacher-to-pupil ratio is 1:70, according to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.
Last week, the Treasury boss announced that government will employ 10 000 teachers to decongest schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But unions yesterday told this publication that the number was not enough to meet demand.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure said: “Teachers have been leaving en masse. We need up to 90 000 teachers to fill the skills gap which has been created at our schools.
“We hope the government will continue to recruit more teachers, and also pay them well. We should balance between recruiting more teachers and also paying the ones on the job. We don’t need this high staff turnover; it is not good for our schools and the education sector.”
Educators Union of Zimbabwe president Tafadzwa Munodawafa said: “In fact, the vacancies created by the introduction of the new curriculum demand more than
10 000 teachers because 10 000 is essentially one teacher per school. At my school alone, we do not even have enough early childhood development teachers. We need information communication technology teachers, and
10 000 more recruits is a far cry.”
Zimbabwe Teachers Association national secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said given that schools were now operating in a COVID-19 era where there is need for social distancing, 10 000 more teachers would not be enough.
“Teachers are leaving the fraternity due to disgruntlement and poor working conditions. Some even die due to illnesses because they can’t afford treatment, and this makes the number the government has pledged inadequate. We need about 40 000 to 60 000 teachers to mitigate the situation on the ground,” Taderera said.
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