By Nqobile Tshili
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is negotiating with Treasury for the employment of 5 000 teachers to reduce the deficit of educators in schools which have almost 13 000 vacancies, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima revealed this during a Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Union (Zicosu) public lecture at the United College of Education in Bulawayo.
The public lecture ran under the theme “Utilising teachers and education in achieving Vision 2030”.
Mavima said his ministry was committed to improving the country’s education sector and together with the PSC they were lobbying Treasury for the employment of an additional 5 000 teachers.
In January, Treasury gave the PSC the green light to recruit 3 000 teachers.
“So, what else are we doing in order to provide opportunities? The first thing is that we are continuing to push Treasury. Right now together with PSC, we have asked for 5 000 positions to be opened up. The Minister of Finance (and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube) is favourable, but I don’t know when they will give us the green light to recruit the 5 000,” said Prof Mavima.
He said the Government job freeze had resulted in a deficit of about 13 000 teachers.
“So that we solve these issues we must be honest with each other, isn’t it? We had 20 000 unemployed trained teachers until very recently. For a long period of time we have not had massive recruitment even though we have shortages,” said Minister Mavima.
“I think we have shortages within our current schools of about 12 000 to 13 000. But because of the fiscal situation, Government said you can’t recruit.
“We are not the only ministry that is affected. All ministries are affected including Health, there are many nurses who are still not employed. But in January we were given a little bit of a reprieve to say employ 3 000 and we have gone through that process.
“Of course, where you have high expectations from everyone but limited spaces you end up with lot of arguments and even conflicts as to how you go about it. And because of that it took us long to fill those 3 000, but I think the bureaucrats are now left with 500 to fill.”
Minister Mavima said some of the remaining positions are meant for Science and Mathematics teachers who are not available to take up the vacant posts. The Chronicle