Dr Vincent Hungwe

GOVERNMENT has submitted 1 500 names of prospective teachers to the Public Service Commission (CSC) for consideration and confirmation out of the 3 000 it intends to recruit in the short term.

There is a shortage of teachers even though about 20 000 were trained and are looking for employment.

In a statement yesterday, PSC chairman Dr Vincent Hungwe confirmed the development.

“So far, 1 500 names have been submitted to the Public Service Commission for consideration and confirmation. The first batch prioritises schools in the rural areas. Concurrent with the foregoing, the attention of the Commission has been drawn to the plight of (19 993) teachers who completed their training, some as far back as 2012, but have not yet been placed in teaching positions,” he said.

Last year, the Government said it was in the process of recruiting 3 000 teachers to address manpower shortages affecting the education sector amid reports of rural schools having a teacher-to-pupil ratio of 1-120.

This was affecting the quality of education and its outputs.

“The Public Service Commission, fully cognisant of the important role that education plays in the attainment of critical national goals, continues to pay close attention to developments in the sector with a view to implementing supportive actions that benefit teachers and learners alike.

“It is not only desirable, but necessary, for ways to be found to close the staffing gap in our schools, where 8 509 posts remain unfilled on account of funding shortfalls. This gap places school children at a disadvantage and retards the attainment of national development goals,” said Dr Hungwe.

He said as the PSC they welcomed a recent decision by Government to provide funds to facilitate the recruitment of 3 000 additional teachers in primary and secondary schools as an interim measure while the request for additional resources to engage more teacher is awaited.

“The Commission also recognises the on-going sterling work by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in identifying the qualified teaching personnel for specific subjects in all provinces and districts of the country,” said Dr Hungwe.

He said Government and the commission were exploring initiatives to create opportunities for the teachers who were not absorbed under the current recruitment exercise.

“Government and the Commission are also exploring opportunities to place the teachers in Sadc member states and other regions through mutually beneficial and multilateral arrangements.

“Meanwhile, Government and the Commission will continue to create opportunities to employ additional teachers within the confines of the national budget, and as and when other opportunities arise to place them teaching positions locally,” Dr Hungwe said.

The Public Service Commission froze the recruitment of teachers and other professionals in 2014 citing the need for rationalisation.herald