PRIMARY and Secondary Education deputy minister Paul Mavima has revealed that the country requires an additional 2 000 schools to close the teacher-pupil ratio which currently stands at 1:70 at some schools.
Mavima told Parliament last week that his ministry preferred a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:30.
“The issue of teacher-to-pupil ratio is related to another big issue that the ministry is concerned about, which is the provision of schools,because without addressing the issue of shortage of schools, we will have to live with this phenomenon where there is high student to teacher ratios,” Mavima said.
“As a country, we are short of more than 2 000 schools and because of that, the schools that we currently have are congested.”
Mavima, however, said even though some schools were congested, it should not affect the results which they produced.
“We have situations where, for example, at Belvedere Primary School, the Grade Three classes have 53 pupils per one teacher.
However, when we look at the performance of some of the schools where the student-to-teacher ratio is high, especially those found in urban areas like the Belvedere Primary School, we find that students have performed well at Grade Seven,” he said.
Mavima said over the past 10 years, government had built 39 primary and 66 secondary schools.
The provinces which had the highest number of schools built were Masvingo and Manicaland with 18, followed by Mashonaland (12), Matabeleland South (11), Harare (10), Mashonaland West (8), Matabeleland North (7), Bulawayo (5), and Midlands (5).