'No going back on ECD teachers'

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa insists government will not back down on its decision not to pay newly-recruited Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers, arguing Treasury cannot afford such expenditure.

In his 2018 National Budget, Chinamasa made no provision for ECD learning, saying Treasury cannot afford to employ teachers for ECD.

He said government recognised the complementary role that parents play in ECD programmes, adding that the takeover of management and financing of ECDs was clearly beyond Treasury’s current capacity.

Following his announcement, there was outcry, with teachers’ unions and the public demanding reversal of the decision. But Chinamasa told legislators recently: “On ECD...I want to say that the idea is noble and no one can question that. Where you have an education system which will give nine years of primary education and six years of secondary education, you can imagine how formidable the product is going to come out to be, and that we must accept.”

“We must also look at the reality of the situation. When you are complaining here that there is no money for Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam), this ECD is going to put into the education system 600 000 to 700 000 new pupils and young pupils who need more care and who will go to school for only three or four hours, and it will require 18 000 or so new teachers,” he said.

“We cannot give in because our present state of finances cannot meet that expenditure and that is all I am saying. We would want to share that responsibility for now until our finances are back to normal.

“I want that to be clearly understood, we are not saying ECD is a bad idea.  No, it is a noble idea but it cannot be funded now. It has to be postponed. We must always know what we can postpone and what we can currently meet.” 

Comments (2)

nxaaa roy bennet aripiko hona munhu wako atanga

fatso - 29 January 2018

My question to the honorable minister is simple. Why did the gvt allow the programme in the first place wasting resources, students being trained at teachers' colleges when you knew they were no employment opportunities for them. Anywhere forget our vote for your party in the coming elections

latent - 29 January 2018

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