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Zim has a deficit of over 25 000 teachers

After recruiting nearly 4,000 teachers this year, Zimbabwe still has a deficit of over 25 000 educators, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Dr Evelyn Ndlovu said in a Ministerial Statement Wednesday.

The Ministerial Statement on the deployment and regrading of teachers across the country was presented to legislators in the National Assembly.

At present there are 10 100 schools in the country is with an enrolment of more than 4.6 million pupils and an establishment of 136 000 teachers.

The teacher-pupil ratio for  ECD is  1: 25 pupils, junior school, 1:40, lower to secondary 1:33, O level 1:30, and A’ level, 1:20.

However, these are just ideal as there are more children in classes owing to the shortage of teachers and the capacity of classroom blocks.

The government had announced that it would recruit 10, 000 teachers this year only to later revise the figure to 5, 000. 

Since 2019, there has been a freeze on posts under which the government announced the number of authorised new teaching posts to be filled.

At the same time, many teachers are quitting the profession citing poor remuneration.

“The Public Service Commission authorised 10 000 posts initially and reduced that number to 5 000 posts for the year 2022 with Treasury concurrence,” said Dr Ndlovu. “Of the 5 000 posts, 3 904 have been filled and the balance of 1 096 will be filled in September 2022. In addition to this, another 1 454 attrition posts have since been filled.”

She said teachers within the critical skills area were getting deployed earlier than others with more readily available qualifications.

“The critical skills shortage areas are ECD, sciences, technical and vocational and indigenous languages and special needs areas,” she said.

Teacher deployments in 2022

LEVELNUMBER OF TEACHERS DEPLOYED
INFANT2164
JUNIOR1215
SECONDARY (FORMS 1-4)431
ADVANCED (FORMS 5-6)94
TOTAL3904

Teacher requirements after the latest recruitment

LevelTEACHERS NEEDED
INFANT14 527
JUNIOR6 527
SECONDARY (FORMS 1-4)3 170
ADVANCED (FORMS 5-6)1 107
TOTAL25 331

The Minister said their greatest deficit was at the infant level – ECD A to Grade 2. “We have taken the necessary precautions to place the majority of teachers at infant level from the allocation that is funded through Treasury since January 2022,” she said.

“Our deployment pattern takes into account the available vacancies in each district. We have, for instance, some districts in Harare and Bulawayo that have almost full complement of staff except for critical shortage areas while the majority of the districts in rural areas are experiencing an acute shortage of teachers, hence are prioritised.”

She added: “As noted above, we deployed fewer teachers to the secondary level because of the need to strengthen the foundation at primary school level.”

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