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Science teacher crisis in Bulawayo schools

by Staff reporter
16 Mar 2018 at 06:13hrs | Views
BULAWAYO province has been hit by a shortage of science teachers, a development that has resulted in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education resorting to cluster teaching to alleviate the challenge.

STEM teachers are mainly for Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Biology for both Ordinary and Advanced levels.

Acting Bulawayo provincial education director, Mrs Olicah Kaira, said they were lobbying Government to recruit more science teachers for the province.

"We have a serious shortage of science teachers in the province. We are lobbying for the province to get science teachers. We really have a problem with our science teachers and some of our schools do not have enough science teachers," she said.

"What we are now doing is what is called cluster teaching which is taxing on the teacher. I will give an example of a teacher from maybe Sizane crossing over to Lobengula High school to assist there because there is no Physics teacher but we have students who must do Physics."

She said the province requires 24 teachers for STEM subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Information, Communication Technology (ICT) for Advanced level and nine teachers for Ordinary level Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry.

She said the province heavily relies on transfers from other provinces but was not getting any science teachers.

"We don't seem to be getting teachers qualified in Physics and other sciences. Another thing is that as a province policy doesn't allow us to get first time graduates or direct entries, someone straight from college or university even if they have pedagogy to teach," she said. "I cannot engage that person because as a Metropolitan province, I heavily rely on transfer requests from other provinces".

Mrs Kaira said the province no longer requires English, Ndebele or Geography teachers as these constitute the majority of transfers.

"We don't need Ndebele or Geography teachers in the province. But we are lobbying the permanent secretary for Science and Mathematics teachers and we are hoping that we will get those teachers because without those teachers our children are not going to make it in sciences and they will not be able to access university places at Nust yet we have a science university in our backyard," she said.

Source - chronicle