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Zim in 45 000 teacher deficit

Local News

GOVERNMENT says the education sector has a deficit of 45 000 teachers after Treasury only managed to fund recruitment of 5 000 posts this year.

In his 2023 pre-budget report presented in Harare at the weekend, Public Service minister Paul Mavima said: “ (Teacher-pupil ratio) needs urgent address as it affects the quality of education, especially at the infant level. Currently, the existing situation on the ground is far from optimal. In the 2022 financial year, 5 000 teaching posts were funded against a shortfall of 50 000. In the 2023 financial year, a budget provision for 10 000 teaching posts is proposed subject to Public Service Commission approval and Treasury concurrence.”

Last week, over 150 Zimbabwean teachers left for Rwanda following a bilateral agreement signed between Harare and Kigali.

Teachers’ unions claim that Zimbabwe has suffered massive brain drain due to low salaries and poor working conditions in the public service.

Government said it would address teachers’ concerns if they showed commitment.

“As a ministry, our mandate can only be achieved if the teachers are in the classrooms and teaching meaningfully. We appeal for continuous motivation of our teachers so that they help us transform education. We also need funding to enable teachers to migrate from wholly providing face-to-face teaching and learning to technology-based instruction provision.”

Prior to Mavima’s statement, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Emma Ncube presented a report stating that rural schools had the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio.

The report also said there were shortages of doctors and nurses at district hospitals.

“The 2023 national budget should focus on improving the welfare of all civil servants (consider non-financial benefits) to improve service delivery and reduce corruption. The PSC should recruit adequate teachers, police, doctors and nurses to ensure enough deployment, especially in rural areas. Recruitment priority should also be given to social welfare workers across the country,” Ncube said.

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