By A Correspondent- The Government is set to recruit 2 988 headmasters and deputies to fill primary and secondary school vacancies in a massive recruitment drive set to improve pass rates and maintenance of infrastructure at educational institutions across the country.
The recruitment of heads and deputies began on 30 August, with prospective candidates set to have handed in their applications by 21 September.
According to a memorandum from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education seen by Sunday News, Government is seeking to employ a total of 1 318 primary school heads, with Bulawayo (8), Harare (5), Manicaland (247), Mashonaland Central (154), Mashonaland East (171), Mashonaland West (125), Masvingo (109), Matabeleland North (210), Matabeleland South (160) and Midlands (129) all set to get appointees for the vacant posts.
For secondary schools, a total of 532 school heads are set to be appointed, with Bulawayo (7), Harare (17), Manicaland (27), Mashonaland Central (5), Mashonaland East (16), Mashonaland West (23), Masvingo (10), Matabeleland North (33), Matabeleland South (12) and Midlands (23) all set to get new appointees.
Across the country, 965 deputy primary school heads are set to fill vacant positions, while 173 secondary deputy school heads will also get appointed.
In Bulawayo, in addition to the eight primary school heads that are set to be appointed, 23 deputy primary school heads, two secondary school heads and seven deputy heads are also set to get new briefs. The primary schools without school heads in Bulawayo are St Bernard’s, Waterford, Helemu, Lozikeyi, Hope Fountain, Inkanyezi and Mhlali. Deputy school heads will be appointed for St Peters, Khami Prison, Hope, Mazwi, Mbuyazwe, Thembisa, Babambeni, Dumezweni, Robert Sinyoka, Henry Low, Kumalo, Fairbridge, Mthombothemba, Kensington, Lochview, Mgiqika, Nketa, King George VI, Sigombe, Mafela, Sibantubanye, Mgoqo and Gampu primary schools.
Tennyson Hlabangana and Maranatha are the two secondary schools in Bulawayo that are set to get substantive heads while Pumula South Secondary, Pumula High, Amhlophe High, Masotsha High, Founders, Emakhandeni and Gifford High School are all set to get deputy heads.
Primary and Secondary Education communications and advocacy director Mr Taungana Ndoro said the Government was embarking on the recruitment drive after realisation that there were many vacancies in those positions across the country. He also said the appointment of new school custodians would improve standards of learning and consequently pass rates as pupils geared for examinations across the country.
“The significance of these appointments is that there are a lot of headmasters or deputies that are currently in their roles on an acting capacity because in most cases, the incumbents would have moved elsewhere, retired or promoted. So, by appointing substantive heads, we are making sure that there is binding responding that comes with the role because once appointed, a head becomes the custodian of whatever institution that they lead.
As we approach a crucial part of the education calendar, we intend to make sure that pass rates go up as well is make sure that school infrastructure are well maintained which is the responsibility of those in positions of leadership,” he said.
Mr Ndoro said as the third term beckoned, the Government was also assessing possible teaching vacancies that needed to be filled.
“We are yet to see where we are in terms of vacancies for teachers. A lot of the headmasters and deputies are also teaching heads so they will also assume duties in the classroom while running the school. Afterwards we will then assess to see where we stand in terms of vacancies and then we shall see what the Public Service Commission allows to do to remedy those vacancies should they be any,” he said.