CHAOS reigned supreme at most schools countrywide, with teachers battling to come to grips with the new education curriculum foisted on them by Education minister Lazarus Dokora, while some aspiring teachers were stranded at provincial education offices awaiting deployment to their respective work stations.
Progressive Teachers’ Union (PTUZ) president, Takavafira Zhou, yesterday took a swipe at the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for delaying the deployment of new teachers to their respective workstations ahead of the start of the new term.
This came as several aspiring teachers were seen milling around at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex in Bulawayo awaiting deployment.
Zhou challenged the CSC to allow the Primary and Secondary Education ministry to directly handle teacher deployments.
“If this CSC is recruiting now, when will teachers prepare their schemes of work? We have never seen CSC recruiting soldiers, so, in the same manner, they must leave the ministry to do the recruitment and deployments, so that they meet the required services of the ministry,” he said.
Zhou noted that thousands of teachers were needed at various schools across the country and “the fact that CSC is doing the recruitment now is a clear sign that the department is confused and is derailing progress in schools, which do not have teachers”.
Efforts to contact Matabeleland provincial education directors were fruitless, as their mobile phones went unanswered.
Some of those outside Mhlahlandlela, who spoke to Southern Eye said CSC officials only registered their names, before saying they will contact the aspiring teachers in due course.
“We have registered and we were told to go back home. Some said they were informed that the government has no money to hire new teachers,” one aspiring teacher said.
The latest development flies in the face of Dokora’s assurances last November that the government would recruit at least 7 000 teachers ahead of the start of the new term to improve the teacher-pupil ratio.
Meanwhile, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has rapped Dokora for fomenting chaos in the education sector by hastily introducing a new teaching curriculum without adequate preparations.
ARTUZ president, Obert Masarure, in a statement, said that the new curriculum does not only cause confusion, but is bound to fail due to learners’ inability to smoothly transit from the old curriculum.
“A snap survey conducted by ARTUZ revealed that 98% of sampled schools in rural areas were not ready and will not be ready to implement the new curriculum for the next week in better circumstances and forever in worst scenarios,” he said.
Masarure said teachers in the sampled schools revealed they had not schemed because they did not have the new curriculum.
“A teacher at one rural school in the Midlands said a workshop on the new format of scheming is being lined up for form three and one teachers. There is a lack of preparedness for the teachers to implement the new learning programme,” he said.
The union also expressed concern about the understaffing, saying it compromised the quality of teaching at schools particularly in science subjects.
“Integrated science teachers are now being forced to teach physics, biology and chemistry. Some teachers had also taken heed to the call of a go slow by ARTUZ,” Masarure said.
He also said most schools in rural areas have no electricity, laboratories and textbooks to enable them to teach compulsory computer programmes.
“In all this chaos, the government’s response was to deploy overzealous inspectors countrywide. The inspectors could not do much, as they realised that there was nothing to inspect. The schools were not ready to teach.” -Newsday