The Government is mulling recruiting university graduates with degrees in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology to teach in public schools due to an acute shortage of Science and Mathematics teachers.
The few available Science and Mathematics teachers have joined private practice that offer better remuneration.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro, confirmed the development to The Manica Post. He said:
I can confirm that we are facing a shortage of Science and Mathematics teachers. We have requested the Public Service Commission to allow the ministry to recruit graduates with degrees in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology who will attain pedagogy while at work.
Pedagogy is the art and science of teaching and translating theory into practice for learners to grasp concepts easily.
Anglican Diocese for Manicaland’s acting education secretary, Reverend Alex Chikomba said:
We have a serious shortage and we really don’t know what to do. The best teachers we had left for greener pastures. Some went to Malawi, while others joined private schools.
We have actually gone on the market to recruit teachers for Physics and Chemistry, but there are no takers.
There is fierce competition out there for these teachers and you have to offer lucrative packages to secure one.
Roman Catholic Mutare Diocese education secretary, Lawrence Chibvuri, urged the Government to train more Science and Mathematics teachers. Said Chibvuri:
The demand for Science subjects has been growing over the years, but the same has not been happening in training the requisite manpower. There is a serious mismatch and this explains the prevailing shortages.
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology must promote the training of Science teachers at colleges in order to close this gap. They should pour more funds towards the training of these teachers.
The development path the country is taking requires Science which is vital for innovation and value addition.
More learners are now doing Science subjects in order to remain relevant in this ever-changing economic climate. So teacher training in these fields needs to be promoted.
The Catholic Church runs several schools and we are facing the same problem. Right now we have several schools that are looking for Science teachers, but we can’t find any.
Private schools are poaching the few available ones and our schools cannot match the remuneration packages they are being offered there.