Qualified teachers recruited as relief staff

HARARE - Overwhelmed by qualified teachers seeking employment, government has raised the entry bar for relief educators and is now recruiting qualified teachers.

The temporary teachers are being recruited to fill up vacancies created by permanent staff on leave for the upcoming second school term.

Prospective relief teachers, including those for Grade One classes, who just a decade ago were either required to have ‘O’ or ‘A’ Levels, now have to produce a teaching degree or diploma.

In an April 11, 2014 vacancy notice pasted at education offices throughout Harare Province, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) performance audit and inspectorate agency calls on prospective candidates to be qualified teachers.

“Criteria for selection is a teaching degree, diploma, certificate in education or other non-teaching degrees, diplomas and certificates,” reads the notice. “Interested candidates must bring original and certified copies of academic and professional qualifications.”

With the country’s unemployment rate estimated to be standing at almost 80 percent, holders of degrees in areas such as Chemistry, Economics, Arts and Statistics, among other degree programmes are the prime targets for employment as relief teachers.

Where holders of non-teaching degrees are employed by government on a permanent basis, most of them complain that they are treated as second class teachers. Mike Mukanga, a teacher in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe district in Mashonaland East Province and a holder of a Bachelor of Arts general degree in English Language, said those  with non-teaching degrees were being unfairly treated by government.

“After my school was ordered to shed some of its staff because of overstaffing, I was made the sacrificial lamb as I was transferred to a very remote school where there is no electricity and water to make way for a junior teacher who had just arrived with a diploma  in Education,” Mukanga said.

“This is notwithstanding the fact that the rule is that the one who came last must go first when there is overstaffing which means the teacher should have been transferred since I was her senior, according to the rule. They do not regard us as teachers before we acquire a post- graduate diploma in education.”

Lazarus Dokora, the Education minister, was not immediately available for comment but he is on record arguing that the placement of holders of general and masters’ degrees for temporary teachers proves there is improvement in the country’s education system.

Ironically, Zimbabwe currently employs about 97 000 teachers against a demand of 111 000, yet the degreed teachers are not being recruited permanently to offset the deficit.

Comments (1)

In case minister Dokora is not aware, the placement of people with masters' degrees to take up a temporary teaching position does not mean there is an improvement in our education system. It means the unemployment rate continues to rise. Is he aware that some with a Mechanical Engineering degree who can not find employment in their field have no choice but to look for a temporary teaching place and mostly so in remote areas. It's a shame.

Dr Know - 5 May 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.