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No automatic bonuses for Zimbabwe's senior civil servants

by Staff reporter
13 Sep 2022 at 05:55hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has directed that there will not be automatic bonus payments for senior civil servants, but they will only receive the 13th cheque depending on their work output in line with performance-based contracts which they signed earlier in the year.

Government last year introduced performance-based contracts for Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and other heads of public entities including local authorities' chief executive officers and town clerks to promote accountability to taxpayers.

Public officials signed performance-based contracts to ensure that they meet set targets as they are expected to drive President Mnangagwa's vision of transforming the country into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Government normally awards the 13th cheque in November.

Addressing educationists from Matabeleland region during a dissemination workshop on the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2021-2025 and Education Amendment Act in Bulawayo on Friday, Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela said Government was serious in ensuring that public servants deliver on their mandate.

ESSP speaks to policies that are going to guide the education sector until 2025 in sync with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

The meeting was attended by educators including provincial education directors, district schools' inspectors, school development committee chairperson, teachers' unions as they unpacked developments in the education sector.

Mrs Thabela said all senior civil servants will have to justify why they have to be paid bonuses considering the performance contracts that they signed.

"Only yesterday (Thursday) we received notification [from the employer) that beginning 2022 everyone, director and above will not get bonus automatically. If you are a director or grade above, you are going to be assessed according to your performance and be given a performance bonus if you deserve it," said Mrs Thabela.

She said according to the Government circular senior employees who have failed to meet targets will not be paid bonuses.

"If you don't meet the targets which you set yourself with your supervisor which met the minimum expectations then you might have to go and tell your children this year that there is no bonus starting with your Permanent Secretary. So, the only people who are safe are those who said they are a deputy director or acting deputy director," she said.

Mrs Thabela said the education sector has a responsibility to equip pupils with skills to face societal challenges beyond the classroom.

She said in doing so no child should be left behind as education should help nurture all the pupils' talents.

"The nation looks upon us to make sure that we develop all its children in a way that guarantees it of a positive future. So, each school is therefore, expected to make sure that each child or each adult who walks into those gates gets an education product that guarantees they are going to get their fullest potential in the area in which they are most capable," she said.

"Our job is to make sure that we fully understand each learner, their aptitudes, their flairs, their abilities and to develop those abilities fully."

Mrs Thabela said days are gone when teachers would say that "Ngihamba labahambayo" and neglecting the disadvantaged learners.

"Now, all children have a destiny and our role is to help them reach that destiny by being a catalyst that helps to get them there. The ESSP defines what we say we are going to do as an education sector," said Mrs Thabela.

She said the education ministry is expected to produce children that are fit for the 21st century market, world of work and world of living.

Mrs Thabela said this means pupils are able to apply what they learn in schools to real life situations.

She said the ministry has to address the issue where some schools have been recording zero pass rates.

"We have to change the way our schools perform so that we get rid of this animal which has been referred to as the zero-pass rate school. I keep saying, such schools are frightening because they are telling us that they do not exist. If you are zero it means you are not there as PEDs, as DSIs. My challenge is to make sure that we eradicate those schools that don't exist and make sure that we are relevant to the communities and their aspirations," said Mrs Thabela.

She said the education sector should prepare examination classes for the coming public examinations that start in two weeks. Mrs Thabela said the ministry expects to have improved Zimbabwe School Examination Councils (Zimsec) results as the education sector was this year not heavily impacted on by Covid-19 pandemic like the previous years.

"This is a clear sign that children now appreciate that we appreciate them as people. As one Tsholotsho young lady challenged us, ‘the wrong thing about you Mrs Thabela and your ministry is that you are interested in what I don't know, not what I know. You are busy asking me about Pythagoras theory and other things,'" said Mrs Thabela.

"‘Have you ever come to the netball pitch and seen that I do very well.' I think we need to listen to that child and start appreciating these skills and the gift of these children and make sure that at each of our schools we guarantee success."

Source - The Chronicle