Prospective teachers throng Ministry offices
MORE than 1 000 prospective teachers thronged various Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education offices in Matabeleland North Province to register following Government’s call to fill vacant posts.
The ministry carried out a nationwide registration exercise for the recruitment of 3 000 teachers to fill vacant posts.
Each province was allocated 300 posts against a shortage of educators especially in the Early Childhood Department (ECD) where there is a deficit of more than 10 000.
In an interview in Binga on Friday, acting Matabeleland North Provincial Education Director Mr Jabulani Mpofu said education offices were overwhelmed by applicants on 3 and 4 January.
“We have a shortage of teachers in the province, especially in the sciences and infants department and fortunately Government offered us 300 places as Matabeleland North. Registration went well in all districts and turnout was really good as we had about 1 000 teachers who registered in the province,” said Mr Mpofu.
He said he could not give statistics about staff complement in the province because there have been significant transfers lately.
The province has 600 primary and 200 secondary schools with teacher-pupil ratio around 1:50 in most schools. ECD and science subjects are the worst affected.
Mr Mpofu said Hwange District which covers Victoria Falls and Hwange urban have a better teacher-pupil ratio with 50 percent staffing while the other six rural districts in the province face a critical shortage.
He said of the 300 posts availed to the province, 140 will be for the infants department, 80 for junior grades while Ordinary and Advanced Level will each get 50 and 30 teachers respectively.
“We can’t say this window has covered the deficit but it will go a long way in closing the gap in teacher shortage,” added Mr Mpofu.
He said applicants should not expect to be deployed in the districts that they registered in as they can be sent to other districts in the province. Mr Mpofu said the registration exercise is a positive move as it ensures the ministry has a database of teachers both in and out of service.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavhima recently said the ECD is the worst affected with a countrywide deficit of 10 000 teachers needed while in Matabeleland North around 1 000 are required.