Headmasters will soon start getting disaggregated salaries if the Civil Service Commission agrees to proposals by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Disaggregated salaries refer to remuneration paid according to qualification, skills, experience and type of school headed.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora said the separation of grades would increase competition in the manner the headmasters applied governance skills in schools.
Hurungwe West legislator Cde Temba Mliswa (Zanu-PF) chairs the committee.
“I am currently in negotiations with the CSC over that issue because most of them think that when they are appointed headmasters that is final and get into comfort zones,” he said.
“But there is a difference in someone administering a school with 100 pupils and someone with over 2 000 children. Different skills are required and there has to be competition and one should work hard to move say from Head Two to Head One. The grades have just to be disaggregated.”
Minister Dokora said the banning of the payment of incentives to teachers by parents and guardians was in line with a Cabinet resolution.
“Some schools were increasing their enrolment because of the incentive yet they did not have the infrastructure to support that enrolment,” he said.
“That money should go towards infrastructure development. Circular Number 6 of 2014 withdraws the authority to pay incentives as it is in conflict with the Constitution, the Civil Service Act and Education Act.
“They were fraught with challenges such as uneven distribution, rural-urban divide and abuse leading to disharmony in the school situation and poor service delivery.”
Explaining the outlawing of extra lessons and holiday lessons, Minister Dokora said some parents wanted teachers to be their “baby-sitters”.
“Children need time to play and parents should also have time with their children,” he said.
“You cannot say your child has 8 As when he does not know anything about social life because he is always glued to books. Teachers are not baby-sitters and psychologists and sociologists have seen the need for children to relax and play.”
He also dismissed claims by the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe that the ministry was mulling stopping the payment of salaries during school holidays.
“They just want to cause alarm and despondency. How can a ministry stop that when the employer is the CSC?” he said.
He also dismissed media reports that teachers who failed Ordinary Level Mathematics, Science and English should resit the examinations to meet new Government professional standards.
He said, in fact, Government had secured resources to support teachers to advance their qualifications.
“We expect hundreds of teachers to be supported to upgrade their qualification from certificate to diploma, to bachelor and master’s degrees level and even beyond,” he said.
Timeous payment of markers by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council, Minister Dokora said, was subject to the availability of funds for that purpose.
“Government has not been able to release funds for Grade Seven examinations which have accumulated to US$4,9 million,” he said.
“On its part Zimsec has been managing Grade Seven examinations by using revenue generated from O and A-Level examination fees. This has adversely affected the payment of the examiners.”
He said O and A-Level examiners had received 75 percent of their dues and the remainder would be paid shortly.
“Grade Seven markers for last year’s examinations have not yet been paid because Treasury has not yet released funds for that purpose. The ministry continues to engage Treasury and Zimsec to ensure timeous payment of markers.”