Story by John Nhandara
THE government is forging ahead with the recruitment of more teachers after setting a target of recruiting an additional 7 000 educators to optimise the teacher-pupil ratio.
The teacher recruitment process has already seen the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education select1 382 teachers who are now undergoing vetting by the Public Service Commission before deployment to various primary and secondary schools.
The development was confirmed by Primary and Secondary Education Director of Communications and Advocacy, Mr Taungana Ndoro, who also said an additional seven thousand teachers will be recruited this year.
“Teacher recruitment this year has already begun because the teacher selection process has started. We have 1 382 names that we have sent to the Public Service Commission for vetting before deployment,” he said.
“It is the PSC that is now the employer. They have already advised us that they are in the process of vetting and once approval is done, they will be deployed throughout the country. We have also requested an additional 7 000 teachers and we have requested treasury to make sure their salaries and allowances are in place.”
Mr Ndoro said the rationale behind the recruitment exercise is to optimise the teacher-pupil ratio.
“The reason why we are requesting more teachers is that we have noted we have a challenge. You will notice that our teacher-pupil ratio is not optimal. We expect a ratio of one teacher to a maximum of 35 pupils but currently, in some schools we have a ratio of one teacher to 50, 55 or 60 pupils.”
Schools in rural areas are reported to be the most affected by the shortage of teachers with the ministry now adopting a deliberate approach to recruit educators to work in communities they come from.