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Zimbabwe claims to have excess teachers

by Staff reporter
20 Aug 2022 at 07:17hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has defended its decision to export teachers to Rwanda saying there was an excess of educators in the country although teachers' unions claimed there was a shortfall of 90 000 educators at public schools.

A total of 491 teachers have been shortlisted for interviews to work in Kigali following the signing of a teacher recruitment deal between the two nations.

"We recruit teachers to Rwanda because we have excess teachers," Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare secretary Simon Masanga told Parliament on Thursday when asked about the programme.

His statement was, however, at variance with statistics provided by Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu in June when she said the Public Service Commission had 10 000 vacant teaching posts that were supposed to be filled this year.

Out of the 10 000 vacant posts, only 5 000 teachers would be recruited this year, Ndlovu said.

According to Ndlovu, the country has an establishment of 136 000 teachers.

Masanga said there was nothing wrong with exporting teachers to Rwanda as the country was also in desperate need of foreign currency in remittances.

"We are short of foreign currency, and we are assured that once a teacher is deployed to Angola, Rwanda or Zambia, they will send money back to the country. We lose nothing by sharing our skills with sister friendly countries like Rwanda," Masanga said before revealing that Qatar and Angola were also scrambling for Zimbabwean teachers.

"The foreign recruitment committee every week has a section to screen people who are coming to work here in Zimbabwe. Why can't we also send the specialised skills that we have here to other

"We have labour migration and we are promoting labour migration and it has to be organised. It is not a bad thing to send teachers to Rwanda."

Teacher unions yesterday accused Masanga of misrepresenting facts about the state of affairs in the education sector.

"We have schools where teachers have more than the required teacher pupil ratio of 1:40. In Early Childhood Development classes, the student-teacher ratio is supposed to be 1:20/5 but we have teachers who are having classes that have over 70 or 80 pupils," Zimbabwe Teachers Association secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said Masanga's statements were reckless.

"Reckless because it disregards the right to education of the millions of learners in Zimbabwe who are longing to be in touch with a teacher in the classroom. We have a shortage of over 90 000 teachers. We have less than 30 000 who are trained, unemployed and still willing to teach under this government," Masaraure said.

Education ministry head of human resources Maxwell Muguse was coy when contacted for comment as his department always conducts visits to schools to ensure all vacant posts are filled.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe