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Government aims 5,000 Maths teachers target

by Staff reporter
12 Mar 2019 at 05:59hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT is targeting to produce 5 455 Science and Mathematics teachers by 2023 following a $3 million intervention to alleviate a shortage of personnel by increasing intake and training institutions for the two critical subjects.

Science and Mathematics are some of the critical subjects which over the years have had a huge backlog particularly in rural schools resulting in low pass rates.

In a Ministerial statement presented to Parliament last week, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said his Ministry had extended Mathematics and Science teacher training to three more teachers' colleges.

"There was an acute shortage of Science and Mathematics teachers to teach the students we had given scholarships, obviously resulting in a low pass rate. It was observed that the current average output of 856 science teachers per year from the three secondary school teacher training colleges; Belvedere Technical Teachers' College, Mutare Teachers' College, Hillside Teachers' College and other universities was not enough against a projected demand of 5 000 by 2023 by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education".

"We found out that this number would not be adequate to meet this and satisfy this, so we started on a programme to train Science and Mathematics teachers and these are colleges that previously were not training secondary school teachers - which are Mkoba, Masvingo Teachers' College and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic," said Prof Murwira.  

He said the Government identified the three primary school teacher-training colleges to complement the training of Science and Mathematics teachers and has invested $3 million in the exercise.

"Because of the above intervention, by 2022 the total number of Science teachers will be 3 003 and Mathematics teachers will be 792 in addition to the total number of 1 660 from the three secondary teachers' colleges. The total projected number of Science and Mathematics teachers by 2023 would then be 5 455," said Prof Murwira.

"In this regard, we will have an excess of about 1 656, the excess will cover the teacher attrition which would have occurred along the way".

Recently, Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director Mr Lifias Masukume said his province was facing an acute shortage of Science and Mathematics teachers.

"The province is experiencing a shortage of essential teaching staff. At Secondary level we have a shortage of 20 Mathematics teachers, 32 Science teachers and 28 voc tech teachers. Our primary schools are operating with a total of 210 qualified ECD teachers out of an expected 1 294," said Mr Masukume.

Source - chronicle