Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Zimbabwe govt to decentralise teacher recruitment

by Staff reporter
05 Nov 2023 at 23:50hrs | Views
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is actively implementing several measures to tackle the various challenges afflicting the education sector, which include shortages of teachers and school infrastructure, as well as the promotion of e-learning.

One crucial measure is the decentralization of teacher recruitment to provincial and district levels, with the approval of the Public Service Commission. This initiative aims to bridge the significant gap of 25,000 teachers in the country. While the ministry recently recruited 2,500 teachers in September, this fell short of meeting the demand.

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Torerai Moyo, made these announcements during a 2024 pre-budget presentation in Parliament last week. He explained, "In terms of teacher recruitment, we are working in collaboration with the Public Service Commission to decentralize the process. Ultimately, we aim to have recruitment handled at the district level." He also noted that for more remote districts, recruitment would continue to occur locally, as it has in the past.

Another critical measure involves the construction of new schools in densely populated urban areas and resettlement regions, where the shortage of educational infrastructure is particularly severe. The country currently faces a shortfall of 2,800 schools, and the ministry is exploring opportunities for public-private partnerships to fund the construction of new schools.

Minister Moyo further elaborated, saying, "Through collaborative partnerships, we can establish new schools and provide the necessary resources to existing ones. We can realistically aim to construct at least one fully-equipped school in each province every year, or even more schools based on the engagement with private sector stakeholders. The ministry will also engage local authorities to allocate devolution funds for school construction to bridge the educational infrastructure gap."

The ministry is considering formalizing some of the currently illegal schools and registering satellite institutions to expand the education network.

Moreover, the ministry is actively strengthening open and distance learning through the National Centre for Open and Distance Learning, promoting mobile and distance learning, particularly for students in remote areas.

Collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, and Courier Services is underway to enhance e-learning.

The ministry also intends to relax the conditions for recruiting substantive heads for school inspector positions, particularly in secondary schools where shortages are significant. This could involve recruiting from the deputy head grade and senior teachers with expertise in areas facing teacher shortages.

Another strategy involves lowering the threshold for secondary schools to qualify for a substantive deputy head from 602 pupils to 350 pupils, expanding the pool of potential secondary school inspectors.

To address the lack of laboratories, the ministry is partnering with development organizations to convert standard classrooms into laboratories, technical/vocational classrooms, technology and design rooms.

In addition, the ministry is expediting the teacher capacitation development program in learning areas aligned with the Competence-Based Curriculum, in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science, and Technology.

Finally, the government is working alongside development partners on guidance and counseling initiatives to combat social issues like drug and substance abuse.

Source - The Chronicle