The shortage of teachers in Matabeleland schools is an ongoing concern with parents forced to engage the few available teachers to teach their children privately at an extra cost.
The issue was discussed at a Gwanda Rural District Council meeting held on Monday, with councillors calling on the government to decentralise the recruitment process.
“I have a challenge with the schools in my ward, both primary and secondary in Ward 18, we no longer have teachers in our schools, I don’t know whether the education representatives present here are aware of what is happening,” Ward 18 councillor, Mphathiswa Ncube said.
Councilor Ncube said some parents have resorted to paying the few available teachers so they can teach their children privately.
“We were told that more teachers will be recruited but the situation has gone on for too long as some parents are now paying teachers R50 per subject, for them to teach their children,” he said.
Ward 22 Councilor, Mary Mpofu said there were so many trained teachers in the district who are not being employed.
“We once talked about the recruitment of teachers just like that of soldiers, we hear of people from Matabeleland South being sent back. There are trained teachers here who want employment, so we want the recruitment process to be decentralised and councillors to be told of the recruitment process,” said Cllr Mpofu.
She said that they have a challenge with children who finish training and have certificates but are not employed, “they end up going to other countries such as South Africa and the UK.”
“As it is in my ward, 22, there are no teachers, I even brought the report and did everything, the learners spend their time playing,” said Cllr Mpofu.
In addition, Ward 13 councillor, Miclas Ndlovu said there is a need to decentralise the recruitment of teachers.
“We need the process to be decentralised, having the head office employing people is what causes us to have the challenges of teachers we are having. We need a place in the district employing teachers here, this will make it easier because relying on the head office causes a backlog and delays in recruitment,” said Cllr Ndlovu.
Meanwhile, Gwanda District Development Coordinator, Thulani Moyo said they have sent reports to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
“On the issue of education, we do write reports and send them, today’s report will also go to Harare,” said Sibanda.
The Government recently said it has come up with a strategy that will see teachers recruited and deployed in their districts of origin particularly in rural areas and urban outlying areas to improve rural education and minimise staff turnover through transfers.