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'Prioritise recruitment of qualified teachers'

by Staff reporter
21 Dec 2018 at 06:53hrs | Views
LEGISLATORS have said Government must prioritise the recruitment of qualified teachers instead of constructing new schools as the country has a teacher shortage of 20 000.

Zimbabwe is facing a massive shortage of basic education facilities and requires an additional 2 056 primary and secondary schools to meet the growing demand spurred by the emergence of communities in resettlement farming areas since 2000. Presenting its budget analysis, the portfolio committee on public service, labour and social welfare said the construction of more schools will increase the demand for teachers at a time when there is a shortfall.

"While the Government is planning to increase the number of schools, the country is currently facing teacher shortages of around 20 000. The construction of more schools will further increase the demand for teachers. The Committee recommends that Government hires sufficient qualified teachers to fill all vacancies so that schools are manned by properly trained personnel to enhance effective education," reads the report.

The committee said Government must reduce non-essential expenditures through streamlining the head office staff at Ministries, cut on newspaper costs and decentralise teacher recruitment to district level.

"Chefs are encouraged to read online newspapers. The savings from such activities should be ploughed to the schools which do not have learning materials and teachers," reads the report.

The committee said the budget must allocate resources towards clearance of the arrears on the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) programme. It said the total allocation towards BEAM must be increased from the current $25 million for the year 2019 in order to avoid situations where children drop out of school.

Another committee, the Primary and Secondary education portfolio committee said BEAM's coverage is still only 10 percent of the targeted beneficiaries.

"Ninety five percent arrears will end up impacting negatively on school operations. There are no additional children which will be absorbed next year. Support remains at $415 900. The burden of school remains on parents, most of who are struggling to raise school fees. The committee said school drop outs are likely to increase on account of rising inflation," it said.

Source - chroincle