Pupils stranded as ministry delays allocation of teachers

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Lazarus Dokora

Hundreds of pupils from Epworth’s Glenwood area are stranded after the Civil Service Commission (CSC) allegedly failed to provide teachers for a new school that was scheduled to open last week.

BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA

During a tour of the school yesterday, NewsDay found a few workers milling about Glenwood Primary School, which currently has one block of classrooms.

Epworth Local Board chairperson Tafireyi Murambidzi said they had managed to satisfy all the set standards, but the CSC had not yet provided the requested teachers.

Murambidzi said the local board was also waiting to be allocated teachers for Mabvazuva Secondary School, which was also scheduled to open last week.

Glenwood was supposed to start with Grade 1 and 2, while council continued with development of infrastructure for other grades.

“We have achieved all the standards required by our council as well as the ministry and what is now required are the teachers,” Murambidzi said, at the same time urging parents to be patient as the issue was being resolved by the CSC.

Lazarus Dokora
Lazarus Dokora

“There is no way we can open a school without teachers. The auditor was here yesterday (Monday) and he told us that our matter was being looked into and only Primary and Secondary Education minister (Lazarus) Dokora is left to sign the document so that we can be allocated teachers.”

He said the school would not be immediately handed over to a school development committee (SDC).

“We had problems with some SDCs, which have been embezzling school funds at the expense of development, and we resolved that all new schools would be handed over after all the developments have been finalised,” Murambidzi said.

Alson Shoko, a parent, expressed his frustration, saying children that had been transferred from other schools on the assurance that Glenwood Primary would open at the beginning of the term, were now stranded.

“We do not know what to do with the kids. Now, some have to walk long distances, as we cannot afford transport costs, while others need to be escorted to far-away schools,” he said.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Patrick Zumbo yesterday absolved the ministry, saying it was the responsibility of the CSC to employ teachers.

“That is an employer issue and we have no say whether the employer says he does not want to employ or not,” Zumbo said.

CSC secretary Pretty Sunguro’s office directed NewsDay to their communications department, which requested questions in writing, but these had not been responded to at the time of going to print last night.