Govt hires 4 000 more teachers
Ivan Zhakata and Precious Manomano
NEARLY 4 000 extra teachers have been hired for Government schools, with 2 935 starting duty on Monday, the first day of the new term, with the extra staff allowing more and smaller classes, required to minimise Covid-19 infection risks, and higher quality education.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education yesterday published a list of 3 816 teachers recruited into the public service to serve right across the range from Early Childhood Development (ECD) to Advanced Level in all provinces.
The new teachers are being contacted to report to district offices in their provinces for deployment.
The ministry’s spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro said the Government had made tremendous efforts to recruit almost 4 000 teachers to press ahead with quality education, needed even more now that so many teaching days were lost to Covid-19 lockdowns.
The ministry was grateful for the funds provided by Treasury and wanted to hire even more teachers once Treasury releases more funds.
“l can confirm that we have recruited 2 935 teachers who are going to assume duty immediately. We had a shortage of teachers because we have a new policy which says from Grade 3 to Form 6, the teacher to student ratio must stand at no higher than 1:35 and 1:20 for the ECD.
“We have done this for prevention and management of the Covid-19 as well as to ensure that quality education is provided by the teachers.
“About 885 teachers are from the previous recruitment since most of them failed to assume duty to their stations because of the pandemic which is threatening the lives of the people.”
Mr Ndoro said the ministry was still looking for an additional 65 technical and A-Level teachers who have specialised in technical subjects and who are highly qualified to provide effective and quality education.
He said those with master’s degrees were also suitable for the posts as the ministry was looking for highly qualified personnel who can deliver quality work.
Mr Ndoro advised the teachers, including the newly recruited, to take their jobs seriously.
“We are happy that examination class teachers are reporting for duty. We expect them to work hard because the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruptions so we expect everyone to provide quality education for our children. To those who are going to assume their duty immediately, we urge you to work hard as well,” he said.
Most teachers countrywide reported for duty on Monday as examination classes comprising Grade 7, Form 4 and Form 6 resumed face-to-face lessons at Government and private schools.
Most boarders returned to their schools on Sunday although a few checked in early Monday morning.
At both urban and rural schools, most pupils in the three classes reported for lessons and Covid-19 protocols including hand sanitisation, wearing of face masks, social distancing and temperature screening were strictly adhered to.
The Government has trained over 63 percent of teachers in standard operating procedures, and there are plans to train support staff, such as food handlers and bus crews to minimise the spread of Covid-19.