The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Evelyn Ndlovu, has said the shortage of Ndebele teachers especially for ECD level up to Grade 3 is due to the reluctance of people from Ndebele-speaking regions to become teachers.
Ndlovu said the majority of learners from Ndebele-speaking regions do not finish secondary school education and instead choose to migrate to South Africa and Botswana.
She was responding to a question from Senator Bekithemba Mpofu on what the government policy was regarding teachers teaching primary school children without the knowledge of their language.
Mpofu then gave an example of a teacher with limited knowledge of Ndebele teaching primary school children in a school that is predominantly of the Ndebele community. Ndlovu responded:
The policy is that when a child is still young at ECD level up to grade 3, the child must be taught in his/her mother tongue but we have a challenge of teachers from that region.
We have been advocating for more teachers to be trained from that particular region without success.
Most of the children in that region opt for other qualifications. The majority of them do not finish school.
They leave for South Africa or Botswana and they do not finish their primary and secondary education. That is the biggest challenge that we have.
We have been in touch with the training colleges to investigate the shortage that is there and I am very disappointed that we have failed to get children into those colleges.
I am very disappointed. We have failed to get volunteers even in my own constituency which is Bulilima.
Recently, the Silobela community rejected non-Ndebele-speaking teachers deployed by the government to take early childhood development classes in Donsa-Donsa, a predominately Ndebele area.
Donsa Councillor Willard Moyo said accommodating the teachers would do no good for the infant learners.
He was speaking at a meeting held at Zibagwe Rural District full council meeting. | Insider