THE Public Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday said Treasury had failed to raise funds required to recruit more teachers amid claims by unions that the country has a shortfall of 100 000 teachers.
This was revealed by PSC general manager Grace Machakaire while appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education led by Torerai Moyo.“The Treasury has not been able to meet the demand for teachers as required by the ministry,” Moyo said.
“For instance, the budget statement for 2022 had provision to recruit 10 000 teachers. Treasury concurrence which was eventually issued in February 2022 authorised the appointment of only 5 000 teachers.
“Following this authorisation, 3 904 teachers were recruited in May 2022 and 1 005 were recruited in September 2022.”Unions have said the country has a shortfall of at least 100 000 teachers as many continue quitting their jobs in protest over poor salaries.
Moyo said Advanced Level studies were a critical shortage area, with science subjects the worst affected.
“The outstanding are “A” Level Science teachers, which is a critical shortage area. It is, however, noted that whenever recruitment is carried out, there are some candidates who do not take up the posts, therefore, the process of recruitment remains ongoing,” Moyo said.
In a related matter, the Primary and Secondary Education ministry has said it is training teachers for the deaf to ensure people living with disabilities are not denied learning opportunities.Speaking during commemorations of the International Week of the Deaf, Primary and Secondary Education ministry district schools inspector for Epworth, Mabvuku and Tafara District, Godfrey Chimbwanda, said there was a serious shortage of teachers for the deaf.
The International Week of the Deaf is observed from September 19 to 25, 2022 annually. This year, it was held under the theme Building Inclusive Communities for All.
“There is a lot of work to do as a ministry as gaps are there. We have challenges in infrastructure and personnel that are qualified to take these learners on board,” he said.
“As a ministry, we are opening channels to train those teachers to fill the skills gap.”
Chimbwanda said Deaf Zimbabwe Trust was assisting the ministry in terms of delivering education to people with disabilities.
He said that they were raising awareness on the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights for people who are deaf.