Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart is engaged in talks with the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Finance ministry over the renewal of contracts for temporary teachers countrywide.
It is almost a month into the third term and most temporary teachers had their contracts terminated at the end of last term, putting enormous pressure on the education sector.
Coltart told NewsDay on Wednesday his ministry has not changed its position on temporary teachers and said he is engaging the PSC and Finance minister Tendai Biti on the way forward.
“The position of the ministry is clear and it has not changed: we need to have contracts of temporary teachers extended and they should be included in the salaries bill, as they would have given a service,” he said.
Coltart said he was still awaiting a response from Biti.
“I am currently engaged in talks with the PSC and Biti on the issue of the renewal of their contracts and their remuneration. I am waiting for a response from the two departments before the end of this week,” Coltart said.
He said the freeze on recruitment of temporary teachers by the PSC had caused problems at most schools, as some temporary teachers had not returned to work.
“I made a statement sometime back ordering temporary teachers to return to work and I am aware that some teachers did return to work.
However, I have received reports from some schools that temporary teachers who were there last term have not reported for duty and that has affected lessons.”
When schools opened for the third term, Coltart said all temporary teachers should report for duty, despite the directive from PSC.