By Nqobile Tshili
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has embarked on an exercise to redeploy teachers, a move aimed at addressing staff shortages.
The Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavhima said that the Government was working on a rationalisation programme that will see teachers being transferred from schools that are over-staffed to those in need of more educators.
He said the process was being conducted in conjunction with the Public Service Commission.
Prof Mavhima said delays in the rationalisation process for teachers were creating an illusion that there is a serious shortage of teachers in the country.
He said through the rationalisation process, teachers will be redeployed depending on the staffing needs of each school.
“The Government’s position is that we’re conducting a rationalisation process to identify schools that are overstaffed and those that are understaffed. Collaborative efforts between the Public Service Commission and our ministry are underway and we’re going to fill these positions where some schools have teacher shortages,” Prof Mavhima.
He said they will be filling up vacancies in schools where teachers might have left or died.
“What we have is not really a shortage so rationalisation is necessary and we need the people on the ground, the provincial education directors, and the district education officers to help in expediting the process,” he said.
His sentiments come at a time when some schools in Matabeleland North are operating with skeletal staff.
For example, Nengasha Primary School only opened last week, three weeks after schools opened, with one teacher who doubles up as its headmistress teaching the Grade Seven class only.
Parents there have been urged to engage volunteers to teach their children from Grade One to Grade Six.
Quizzed on why the school has one teacher and the issue of parents seeking volunteers to teach their children, Prof Mavima said the ongoing redeployment will address that.
“As much as you’re concerned, we’re concerned also. We really need to move fast so that we can correct these issues you’re talking about.
“It is also not a ministry’s position to have parents employing volunteer teachers. We can’t achieve quality education if volunteers are deployed in schools because we won’t be able to control them,” said Prof Mavhima.
The Government’s move to redeploy teachers comes at a time when the police, the Judicial Service Commission, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority are also redeploying their officers. The Chronicle