The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has said the government’s plan to recruit 10 000 teachers in 2022 is insignificant considering that about 60 000 teachers are needed. Finance minister Professor Mthuli Ncube last week Thursday told Parliament that he was intending to allocate $11.6 billion to the education sector for the refurbishment of schools and recruitment of more teachers, all meant to reduce teacher: learner ratio. PTUZ president, Takavafira Zhou said in a statement:
Recruitment of 10 000 Teachers for 2022 Insignificant
30 November 2021
Govt enunciation to recruit 10 000 teachers in 2022 in order to reduce teacher: pupil ratio and decongest schools, falls far short of the minimum threshold of 60 000 teachers needed in schools.
Not only is the number inadequate, but there is no corresponding investment in quality public education and, therefore, no meaningful learning and teaching would ensue in schools.
The govt has failed to allocate more than 22% of the total budget to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, which entails that any attempt to implant industrial harmony and productivity would remain a dream under such stringent budgetary allocations.
The year 2022 is, therefore, likely to continue without meaningful dialogue between govt and its workers thereby generating industrial disharmony and limited productivity.
The payment of a living wage to govt workers is crucial in enhancing productivity and sustainable development. The poor salaries within govt workers have also triggered corruption in some govt departments as a survival tactic. Sadly, govt pursuit of neo-liberal policies has no traction and will militate against industrial harmony, let alone sustainable development.
Without resources and with disgruntled, hungry and poor teachers, the recovery of the education system remains remote and unimaginable.
Agenda 2030 for a revolution in the education system with the provision of life serving skills that can ensure the functionality of pupils beyond the classroom will remain a pipe dream.
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou (PTUZ President)