A primary school in Nkayi South, Matabeleland North has one teacher and a headmaster who has to shoulder extra duties of teaching students.
Nkayi South Zanu PF legislator Stars Mathe exposed the critical shortage of teachers at Katasa primary school in Parliament last week.
“I am prepared to give evidence of a school that is in Matabeleland North in Nkayi South, my constituency, and the name of the school is Katasa primary school. It has only 2 teachers: the head and the teacher yet it has classes from Grade zero to 7,” Mathe said.
“How does the headmaster exercise his duties as the headmaster? Where does he get the time when he also has grade 1 up to grade 7 lessons? It’s so pathetic.”
Mathe said the critical shortage of teachers in Matabeleland was to blame for the poor pass rate where some schools have recorded a zero pass rate in their final examinations.
“It’s not only that school. A lot of schools in Matabeleland have no teachers. It’s so painful, very much painful for us leaders.
“When people see such things, they will point fingers at us and later blame the government at the expense of people who are supposed to exercise their duties.
“Do these leaders in the ministry of Education go to the schools to see the situation on the ground?”
In rural Matabeleland, a number of schools have poor infrastructure and many qualified teachers do not want to work there.
Due to a lack of resources and shortage of qualified teachers, the pass rate for most schools is always at zero.
According to Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec) statistics, Matabeleland North had the worst Grade 7 pass rate in the 2021 Grade 7 results, with 51 schools scoring zero pass rates.
It was the same in 2020 when the Matabeleland North registered the worst Grade 7 results at 15.9%, down from 25% recorded in 2019.