Min­istry, Pub­lic Ser­vice to meet over jobs freeze

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

THE Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion will this week en­gage the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (PSC) to en­sure that the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is not af­fected by the re­cent de­ci­sion to freeze re­cruit­ments in the civil ser­vice.

The Gov­ern­ment has with im­me­di­ate ef­fect frozen re­cruit­ments and pro­mo­tions in the civil ser­vice as part of its staff ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion ex­er­cise in line with rec­om­men­da­tions of the Civil Ser­vice Re­port of 2015.

A se­nior of­fi­cial in the Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry yes­ter­day said they will en­gage the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion to en­sure that the hir­ing of teach­ers in the coun­try con­tin­ues.

“The Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary will start en­gag­ing the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion tomorrow (to­day) to find out how the job freeze will af­fect the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

“The Min­istry is grap­pling with a se­ri­ous short­age of teach­ers, es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas, with some schools be­ing run by deputy heads,” said the of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Zim­babwe Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (Zimta) pres­i­dent Mr Richard Gun­dane yes­ter­day said they were against the job freeze as it would com­pro­mise ed­u­ca­tion de­liv­ery in the coun­try.

“What the Gov­ern­ment must re­mem­ber is that we have not yet achieved the re­quired staff com­ple­ment in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. The freez­ing of jobs can’t there­fore be eas­ily ap­plied in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor,” he said.

Mr Gun­dane said teach­ers that die, re­tire or re­sign need to be re­placed as well.

He said the freez­ing of posts was com­ing at a crit­i­cal time when the coun­try is in the process of rolling out the new ed­u­ca­tion cur­ricu­lum, which de­mands that schools have the re­quired num­ber of teach­ers.

“The ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem must be able to adapt to the new cur­ricu­lum. There will be need for new peo­ple into the sys­tem with the re­quired ex­per­tise.

“On the pro­mo­tions, it’s a le­git­i­mate ex­pec­ta­tion in any sys­tem that peo­ple are pro­moted when they reach a cer­tain level. The freez­ing of jobs short­changes pro­gres­sion of of­fi­cers in the ca­reer path of their pro­fes­sion. We’re there­fore against the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion,” said Mr Gun­dane.

In June, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Lazarus Dokora said the gov­ern­ment had plans to re­cruit about 10 000 teach­ers and head­mas­ters, most of whom would be posted to ru­ral schools in a bid to al­le­vi­ate the se­vere short­age of qual­i­fied teach­ers.

Dur­ing the same month, the gov­ern­ment an­nounced that it would re­cruit 303 school heads to be de­ployed in Mata­bele­land North prov­ince alone.

Mr Richard Gun­dane

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