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Teacher transfers cause furore


SOME Harare teachers at government schools are resisting on-going transfers in their districts citing victimisation and lack of transparency.


The Ministry of Education conducted an audit and discovered that there was overstaffing in some schools while others had a shortage of teachers and implemented the transfer programme.

Some of the affected schools were Queen Elizabeth High School, Allan Wilson High School and Hatfield School.

The teachers accused their headmasters of bias when choosing teachers for transfer.

But Deputy Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Lazarus Dokora said they were rationalising personnel in schools and that the programme had nothing to do with forced transfer.

“Schools have an establishment which conforms to the teacher-pupil ratio, so if a school has 40 children you will need one teacher,” Dokora said.

“So when you look at the enrolment of each school, then you ask the question: How many teachers do you have? That is where we are coming from. The rules are clear that it’s one teacher for a number of students and if you apply those ratios, they will give you a number which you will compare with what you have in the school and if there is excess, pass on to the next school.”

One of the transfer letters read: “This letter serves to inform you that due to overstaffing in the school, you are requested to report to the district education officer – Mbare/Hatfield.”

It is alleged that 11 teachers from Queen Elizabeth were up for transfer, seven from Allan Wilson and seven from Hatfield School.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe treasurer Ladistous Zunde said that the process should inlude everyone and not target certain teachers.

“The teachers who have been put up for transfer are alleged to have crossed paths with the heads of the schools by whistle-blowing. So all we want is for them to do the exercise transparently,” Zunde said.

“We understand that this exercise is only being done in Mbare–Hatfield district and so this raises eyebrows. It’s not that people should not be transferred, but it should be done in a transparent way.”

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