Govt recalls 3 000 teachers

HARARE - Government is reinstating 3 000 qualified teachers who quit their jobs at the height of the economic meltdown in 2008.

The teachers are being redeployed to rural areas on renewable one-year contracts.

This comes as the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has reported a critical shortage of qualified personnel to fill thousands of vacant posts, especially in rural schools.

A June 25 letter from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) secretary Petty Sunguro to Constance Chigwamba, the secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, advises that  government wants them to fill posts currently filled by unqualified teachers.

“Please be advised that the applications for reappointment into the Civil Service by the under-listed former members have been approved subject to the following conditions: That they be deployed to rural areas for at least two years before being considered for transfer to urban areas,” reads the letter.

The educators are also required to undergo a cumbersome process of reinstatement which includes security vetting and medical examinations.

The teachers’ reinstatement is also based on contracts that run concurrently with the financial year and are subject to renewal at the end of the year.

The reinstatement also provides that the head of the ministry of Education appraises the former members quarterly and that their final assessment reports be submitted to the commission for consideration.

They will only be readmitted into government after the Commission satisfies itself  that the members are good enough.

“The members will not contribute to the State Service Pension Fund during the period they would be employed on contract,” the letter reads.

Government will deny the members’ re-appointment in repeat cases of abscondment or giving inadequate notice on resignation.

It takes between six months and one year for “prodigal teachers” to be accepted back into the system.

Unions urged government to rethink its policy, considering that they left because of the circumstances they were faced with and should therefore not be punished as if it was a normal case of misconduct.

Scores of teachers abandoned the profession and sought “greener pastures” in neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Namibia around 2007 and 2008 when  the value of the local currency was dented by hyperinflation.

This led to closure of most schools as government could not even attract relief teachers to fill the void.

Government went on to discharge most of them after they had not reported for duty after 90 days.

Comments (2)


five star - 30 July 2014

I for one am a former teacher but will never seek to be readmitted under such evil draconian conditions. I did not commit a crime by leaving a job that I was unvalued in and unappreciated. Ndichadzoka kana Morgan ava President. Pasina izvozvo hamundioniko. Chero mukatuka imi mazivanhu ve zanu hazvina basa.J

archie - 31 July 2014

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