District education offices overwhelmed by teacher applications

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The call for prospective teachers to fill in 3000 posts has seen huge numbers flocking to district education offices resulting in the districts being overwhelmed, The Mail and Telegraph has learnt.

Government   unfroze teaching posts recently in a move that has been speculated as a way to mitigate potential strike threats.

This comes after Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe marched from rural areas to Harare in protest of bond notes salaries.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) also met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and tabled their grievances indicating  that they will not be able to return to work in January if their grievances are not addressed as they are incapacitated.

In the meeting, PTUZ implored the government to immediately start appointing teachers to lessen the burden of teachers.

This contradicts what Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said in his 2019 national budget as he said he will reduce the size of civil service.

Primary and Secondary Education secretary Tumisang Thabela said her ministry will be carrying out a registration exercise for prospective teachers to fill in limited vacancies but to date the recruitment process has not started despite the massive turnout by unemployed teachers.

For infant education module, applicants should provide proof of proficiency in local languages especially for formerly marginalised indigenous languages spoken in the district of their choice.” Thabela said.

According to the PTUZ discussion points with Mnangagwa, the official teacher-pupil ratio at infant level is 1:22 and 1:27 at junior primary school.

At junior and senior secondary, the student teacher ratio is 1:33, while Advanced Level ratio is 1:25 with practical’s official ratio being 1:100.

“On the ground however, across the board, teacher-pupil ratio now ranges from 1:60 to 1:100. This is now taken as the norm and has compromised quality education, and contradicts Agenda 2030, EFA goals and the government’s own policy,” stated the document.

In January, the government froze the recruitment of Early Childhood Development teachers.

In September, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Amon Murwira told parliament that the government will continue training teachers despite its failure to absorb them owing to the recruitment freeze placed by the Public Service Commission.