This was revealed by Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira during a question and answer session in the Senate on Thursday.
He was responding to a question from Senator Gideon Shoko who wanted to know the rationale behind the continued training of teachers when they are no employment opportunities for them in the public service.
Shoko queried: “What is the government policy when it comes to training of teachers? Do you train for the sake that they should be there or you train so that you will be able to employ them afterwards?”
In response, Murwira said government intends to increase the number of teacher-training colleges despite its inability to absorb them into the education system.
He said: “We train teachers so that they go and further train our children. We actually want to increase the number of colleges training teachers.
“Our reasoning is that we should never confuse the low capacity in the economy to absorb teachers for plenty of teachers”.
“I think, statistically, Zimbabwe has a shortage of teachers but the capability of the economy to absorb them might be something else.”
Murwira said efforts by government to revive the country’s economy would eventually create an appetite for teaching jobs.
Concurrent to these efforts, he said his ministry has adopted inclusive education policies and strategies to increase the number of students at tertiary institutions and reducing the number of college dropouts.
Part of the strategies include a loan facility that enables students to access funds from the banks.
Because of high interest rates charged at the banks, the ministry has also invited external funders to provide student loans.
“In this regard, we have made an agreement with Fundi of South Africa which is working through Eduloan in Zimbabwe.
“On July 10, 2018, we signed an agreement of $10 million that will be released to Zimbabwe for our students to be able to access these funds,” said Murwira.
Government has also reduced fees paid by students on attachment by 40 percent and streamlined some entry qualifications into universities and tertiary institutions.
This includes scrapping of mathematics as a requirement on programmes that do not require the subject.
Through the adoption of these policies, Murwira said they have managed to increase the number of absorbed students in higher and tertiary institutions by 12 percent. Daily News.