Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry dis­misses 1 600

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Belinda Moyo Sun­day News Re­porter

THE Govern­ment last year ter­mi­nated con­tracts for more than 1 600 teach­ing and non-teach­ing staff mem­bers un­der the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion for not hav­ing the req­ui­site qual­i­fi­ca­tions while some were dis­missed for im­proper re­la­tion­ships with pupils, it has been learnt.

From the more than 1 600, 128 qual­i­fied teach­ers were dis­missed, mainly male teach­ers for cases re­lated to im­proper con­duct with mi­nors from 241 dis­ci­plinary cases han­dled in 2018.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port de­tail­ing last year’s tar­gets and this year’s projects and tar­gets, in pos­ses­sion of Sun­day News, the Govern­ment ter­mi­nated em­ploy­ment for 1 645 teach­ing and non-teach­ing staff mem­bers in­clud­ing 135 sup­port staff mem­bers who did not have req­ui­site qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

The re­port also noted that the Govern­ment re­cruited an ad­di­tional 1 300 teach­ers to fill va­cant teach­ing posts across the coun­try. The min­istry also re­ported that 342 were pro­moted to be heads at pri­mary schools, 173 at se­condary schools while 996 were pro­moted to be deputy heads at pri­mary schools and 74 at se­condary schools.

This year, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the min­istry in­tends to re­cruit an ad­di­tional 6 400 teach­ers to reach the ap­proved 127 091.

It also in­tends to pro­mote 1 500 teach­ers to heads and deputies. Al­ready, the process to re­cruit 3 000 teach­ers has started.

“Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of 315 sup­port staff with­out req­ui­site qual­i­fi­ca­tions will be iden­ti­fied for re­tire­ment,” said the min­istry.

On dis­ci­plinary mea­sures, the min­istry re­ported it dis­charged 128 mem­bers from ser­vice for var­i­ous of­fences with 241 cases of var­i­ous mis­con­duct cases doc­u­mented dur­ing the year.

Con­tacted for com­ment, the Deputy Min­is­ter of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion, Cde Edgar Moyo, said Govern­ment was con­cerned about the mis­con­duct by teach­ers de­spite the de­crease in the num­ber of cases com­pared to pre­vi­ous years. He said the min­istry was work­ing to­wards elim­i­nat­ing mis­con­duct among ed­u­ca­tors as this was im­pact­ing neg­a­tively on the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion.

“As a min­istry we are very much anx­ious on the mis­con­duct cases recorded, yes, we are happy that there was a de­crease of mis­con­duct cases in 2018 com­pared to 2017, but we will con­tinue work­ing tire­lessly to make sure they are com­pletely elim­i­nated as they im­pact neg­a­tively on the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion. Some mem­bers were dis­charged from ser­vice. This is one of the ini­tia­tives which help in the re­duc­tion of mis­con­ducts hence we will en­hance this kind of mea­sure­ment to en­sure that we pro­fes­sion­alise the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and pro­duce qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try,” said Cde Moyo.

From the re­port, 330 cases of mis­con­duct were re­ported in 2017 and 368 in 2016 with an av­er­age num­ber of mis­con­duct cases recorded per province be­ing 42 for 2018 against 64 for 2017 and 80 for 2016.

In terms of preva­lence, the re­port noted that the of­fence com­mit­ted most was im­proper as­so­ci­a­tion with mi­nors with 69 cases recorded, a de­crease from 84 in 2017 and 111 in 2016. Cde Moyo con­demned abuse of chil­dren by teach­ers, adding that it was putting men in bad light.

“Im­proper as­so­ci­a­tion with mi­nors, this is mainly done by male teach­ers and such be­hav­iour al­ways puts all men in bad light. As a min­istry we con­demn that and we will con­tinue giv­ing aware­ness to chil­dren through child pro­tec­tion com­mit­tees. To teach­ers we are say­ing this year we give a stern warn­ing against child abuse, teach­ers should know that such kind of be­hav­iour at­tracts a se­vere charge,” he said.

e re­port also read that some of the of­fences that led to dis­missals in­cluded fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment which af­fected mainly heads and their deputies. Se­nior teach­ers who were mainly af­fected were dis­missed for ab­scond­ing work. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, 24 teach­ers (23 males and one fe­male) were ar­rested by the police for var­i­ous crim­i­nal acts, an in­crease from 18 in 2017.

“Of these five were found guilty, two were in­car­cer­ated, one was given com­mu­nity ser­vice, two paid fines. Two were found not guilty and the rest of the cases are pend­ing.”

The re­ports said a to­tal of 12 cases were handed to the Labour Court.

“Of these the min­istry won three, lost three and six are still pend­ing. The re­duc­tion in Labour Court Cases can be at­trib­ut­able to the re­duc­tion in the back­log of cases by the court. Los­ing cases is costly as the mem­bers have to be re­in­stated or paid dam­ages. Two cases were lost on merit while one was lost due to non­ap­pear­ance by the Civil Divi­sion.”

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