Agony for jobless teachers

Source: Agony for jobless teachers – Sunday News May 14, 2017

Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
JOBLESS qualified teachers who were hoping to be employed ahead of schools opening for the second term last week will have to wait a bit longer before they can be absorbed into the system, Sunday News can reveal.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Cde Prisca Mupfumira was quoted saying the Government was to employ 2 300 teachers before schools open. Nonetheless, contacted for comment yesterday to clarify the issue, Cde Mupfumira said “a few administrative issues” needed to be ironed out before recruitment started.

She said: “There are a few administrative issues that are still being sorted between the commission (Civil Service Commission), the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance. Once those issues have been sorted we will let you know. In fact the teachers themselves know the procedure to be followed for recruitment.”

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said while his association was yet to receive official communication on the recruitment, the move was plausible. He implored the Government to employ more teachers to enable effective implementation of the new curriculum.

“We haven’t received anything official on that matter but obviously the Government should employ sufficient teachers to meet the demands of the new curriculum,” he said.

Mr Ndlovu said shortage of teachers was compromising the quality of education as the few teachers taking charge of classes were being overloaded.

Introduction of new learning areas such as Mass Displays under the new curriculum has increased the need for more teachers to be employed. Thousands of teachers who graduated from various teacher training institution are jobless after the Government halted recruitment of civil servants as it seeks to cut a huge wage bill. Last year the Government announced that it was freezing the recruitment of employees and promotions in the civil service, as part of its staff rationalisation exercise in line with recommendations of the Civil Service Report of 2015. However, the Government announced that a special dispensation would be granted to “critical posts” which were to be considered on a “case by case” basis.

Each ministry was supposed to apply justifying why they needed to recruit. So far the Government has accepted and recruited nurses while the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has also been knocking on the doors of the Civil Service Commission.

However, Sunday News checked with provincial education directors across most provinces who indicated that apart from the pronouncement that they came to know through the newspapers, there was no official communication either from the Civil Service Commission or from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education over recruitment of teachers.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has requested that they need 7 000 teachers to be recruited to enable full implementation of the new education curriculum.