By Staff Reporter
EDUCATION Minister Cain Mathema has said the government will be immediately monitoring teachers who are not reporting for duty and fill in the gaps with new educators.
Most teachers have not reported for work after schools reopened for students writing public examinations following a six-month break after schools closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
They are demanding the government increases their salaries to US$550 or equivalent in local currency.
However, the government has indicated it has no capacity to meet the teachers’ demands.
Next year’s examination classes, Grade 6, Form 3, and Lower Sixth will commence school Monday under Phase Two of the reopening plan. The remaining classes will open on 9 November.
Mathema told the state media Sunday, provincial and district education officers will intensify daily assessments of teachers’ attendance registers at schools to establish staffing gaps that could be covered by hiring more teachers.
The monitoring, he said, will allow authorities to evaluate the extent to which this year’s syllabus has been covered and the methods that can be deployed to help pupils catch up.
The education ministry’s communication director, Taungana Ndoro said monitoring will allow authorities to assess gaps in staffing levels.
“There have been daily assessments going on and are still ongoing. We anticipate the number of pupils attending school to increase as more classes open,” said Ndoro.
“We seek to establish gaps in terms of human resources so that regulations such as social distancing can be properly implemented. However, in terms of preparation, schools are ready to open on Monday.”
The National Association of School Heads president Arthur Maphosa confirmed there was no teaching taking place in schools as teachers remained on strike.
“The biggest issue now is that there are no adequate teachers. Some mission schools have teachers because there were arrangements made between the schools and parents.
“However, in rural and most public schools there are no teachers. At times the attendance register shows that only two out of 47 would have reported for duty, with the two being the head of the school and the deputy.”
Maphosa said salary negotiations between Government and public sector workers should be expedited to break the impasse between the two parties.