Education, Sport, Art and Culture minister David Coltart Thursday ordered temporary teachers to report for duty despite a Public Service Commission (PSC) directive to the contrary setting the stage for a fight between the two arms of government.
Coltart told NewsDay in an interview said that the decision to reinstate temporary teachers was made at Cabinet level.
“The directive given by the (PSC) that those temporary teachers should not resume work was made without consultation with my ministry,” said Coltart. “We discussed the issue at Cabinet on Tuesday and we agreed that the directive should be rescinded and that temporary teachers should report to work.”
The minister said government was working out how the temporary teachers would be paid.
“We are in the process of making sure that the teachers are paid on time and that their salaries are revised.”
A survey carried out by NewsDay yesterday found that most schools in Bulawayo had advised temporary teachers not to report for duty until further notice.
A visit to the provincial education office in Bulawayo revealed scores of temporary teachers milling around the office hoping to be re-engaged.
“We have been told that posts for temporary teachers have been frozen with immediate effect until further notice,” said a temporary teacher, who preferred anonymity.
“We have lost hope. We are just sitting out here hoping for a miracle to happen as we have no other plans.”
He was last term teaching at Mhlambabaloyi Primary School in Ntabazinduna.
Treasury recently issued a directive to freeze all new recruitment for temporary teachers.
Contracts for temporary teachers expire at the end of every term and are renewed by the provincial education officers at the beginning of each new term.
Education experts say Zimbabwe needs 120 000 trained teachers for effective teaching in schools but the country only has about 90 000 available and the majority are untrained.