Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Government will next month recruit 2 300 teachers ahead of the schools opening for second term to enable full implementation of the new schools curriculum recently introduced by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said in an interview yesterday that the Public Service Commission (PSC) was ready to recruit the teachers to address the shortage of educators.
She said the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education required more than 7 000 teachers urgently and they would be recruited in batches, starting with the 2 300 for next term.
“The other vacancies will be filled as time progresses, depending on the availability of resources,” said Minister Mupfumira.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora said the 7 000 more teachers would enable full implementation of the new curriculum.
“We have since approached Cabinet so that the PSC can fill in the vacant posts,” he said in an interview yesterday.
In January, Government temporarily shelved plans to recruit the 7 000 new teachers because of lack of funds.
This was after PSC last year froze recruitment of civil servants as part of a staff rationalisation programme to cut the civil service wage bill, which takes close to 80 percent of the national budget.
A special dispensation was given to critical posts, hence the recruitment of the teachers.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said the education sector had been exempted from the recruitment freeze and the new teachers were supposed to have been recruited at the beginning of the year.
Teacher representatives said the continued delays in the recruitment of additional teachers put pressure on schools.
This had become a threat to the implementation of the new curriculum, as the new syllabus had increased teachers’ work load.
New learning areas such as Mass Displays and Visual and Performing Arts also needed to be taught by skilled personnel, which personnel was not immediately available among the teaching staff complement.