via Teachers’ incentives to go | The Zimbabwean 11.12.13 by Tamuka Maregere
Incentives to encourage teachers to stay in urban schools are to be scrapped. Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, the minister of state for Masvingo province and Mwenezi East National Assembly member, last week said the payments would end from January.
Over the years, urban teachers have been receiving extra money on top of their basic salaries in a bid to keep them in post.
Bhasikiti said the incentives had heavily compromised the quality of education in rural areas and caused divisions amongst teachers.
“Incentives have killed the education system,” he said. “Most schools in the rural areas are recording a string of bad results each year because teachers are moving away in search of incentives,” Bhasikiti said.
He said the Zanu (PF) politburo had passed a resolution to stop teachers’ incentives, as most civil servants would soon be earning salaries above the poverty line. The minister also said the incentives had become a burden to most parents who had to fork out extra money after paying school fees, just to cater for the welfare of teachers.
He expressed hope that, as the teachers received their salary increments, the pass rate in schools would also improve.
The Masvingo provincial education director in the ministry of secondary and primary education, Fadzai Jirivengwa, said the highest pass rate at a rural school averages 30 per cent because pupils were being taught by mostly student teachers or school leavers who lacked experience.
“The educational standards at most rural schools are very low. The ministry noted that the highest number of qualified and experienced teachers is concentrated in urban centres, whilst most schools in rural areas are flooded by student teachers on attachment or school leavers who are waiting to go to universities and who do not have the expertise in teaching,” she said.