Government set to employ 2 300 more teachers
Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT is set to employ 2 300 teachers in June to bring the total number of teachers who would have been employed this year to 5 000.
In January, Government recruited 2 700 teachers who were deployed to several schools across the country.
Most of those who were recruited were deployed to most critical areas that include Early Childhood Development, Grades One and Two and specialist subjects — sciences, vocational subjects and indigenous languages.
Before this year’s recruitment, 13 000 posts were said to be vacant.
The recruitment of the 5 000 teachers this year is part of Government’s efforts to ensure that pupils have access to quality education, a development that helps in improving pass rates.
According to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the teacher-pupil ratio for primary schools is 1:40 and at secondary schools it is 1:35 from Form One to Form Four and 1:25 for Advanced Level classes.
However, schools are forced to enroll learners beyond their carrying capacity due to a shortage of schools and teaching staff. Some secondary school classes have over 50 learners.
In an interview on the sidelines of the handover of a state-of-the-art laboratory to Selukwe Chrome Secondary School, as well as a multipurpose sports court and a bus to Impali Primary School worth over US$300 000 in Shurugwi yesterday, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela said in June, Government would recruit 2 300 more teachers.
She said it is Government’s goal to support the implementation of the new curriculum.
“In January we engaged 2700 teachers to fill vacancies in the sector. The teacher pupil ratio must improve to support the new curriculum. Of those engaged, 2 100 teachers took up the jobs and 600 did not for various reasons. We are now completing the mop up programme to make sure the 2 700 figure is reached. At the same time, I am glad to announce that we have also been given authority to recruit a further 2 300 teacher in June. We were allowed to engage 5 000 teachers and if we engage 2 300 plus the 2700 we engaged in January we will reach our target,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Thabela commended Unki Mines for supporting Government in implementing the new curriculum through investment in infrastructure development.
She said support in sports facilities, assists schools to mould athletes who have an academic background.
In a speech read on his behalf by the senior human resources manager at Unki Mines Mr Anthony Chadyiwa, the company’s general manager Mr Walter Nemasase said they were honoured to have partnered the education ministry in assisting Selukwe Chrome Secondary School and Impali Primary School.