ZIMBABWE has more than 19 000 qualified teachers roaming the streets due to the government freeze on employment, Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora has said.
Dokora told the Senate last Thursday that currently, he would like to get 4 600 teaching posts filled in, but he was only allowed to employ only 2 300.
He was responding to a question by Manicaland Senator Monica Mutsvangwa (Zanu PF), who wanted to know government policy on how teachers would be recruited given that currently, a large number of qualified teachers were looking for employment.
“We require a minimum of 7 000 teachers just to enable me to hold the education system in a manner that enables pupils to get benefit out of the learning experiences, but sometime in April, conversations between the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the employer ministry, through the Public Service Commission, led to the granting of authority to recruit only 2 300 teachers,” Dokora said.
“I am expecting 4 600 teachers, but on the market, there is more than 19 000 qualified teachers.”
Dokora said the 2 300 teachers were recruited in terms of their specialisation, prioritising employment of those with mathematics and sciences.
“So, we have to group the schools into what are called clusters and we say in each cluster, we must, at least, recruit one or two mathematics majors, science and technology-vocational majors, just to enable those four or five that are deployed to the group of 10 to be the nucleus of assisting the other teachers to manage in that cluster,” he said.
“So, what the secretariat of my ministry was doing was to say, let us start with those that graduated in 2013 — can we pick up any of the teachers there? If we do not find the maths graduates or we have exhausted the maths graduates, the science graduates and language graduates, then we go to 2014, to 2015 and up to the most recent graduates,” he said.
Dokora said the authorised recruitment fell far short of what was needed in the market as there was oversupply of teachers awaiting recruitment.