Shortage of Ndebele teachers hits Zhombe, Silobela; Ministry says speakers not eager on taking up subject

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By Staff Reporter

ZHOMBE and Silobela districts in the Midlands province have been hit hard by a shortage of Ndebele teachers, which has been blamed on speakers of the language being hesitant on taking up the language.

The matter has been a hot potato for over a decade, with communities in the southern parts of the country resisting non-Ndebele speaking teachers at local schools.

In 2014, villagers, especially in Matabeleland North and South provinces, threatened to push for secession if what they claimed was ‘deliberate marginalisation’ by late President, Robert Mugabe, was not addressed.

Speaking at the official opening of Gwesela-Bharimasvesve primary school in Zhombe recently, Midlands provincial minister, Larry Mavhima, promised government was going to look into the matter.

Midlands provincial and devolution affairs minister Larry Mavima

“From the briefings, I have gathered that we have a shortage of Ndebele teachers here and government is going to look into the issue,” Mavhima said.

The same matter was raised by Zibagwe rural district council (RDC).

Kwekwe schools district inspector, Herbert Maziriri, said the crisis was national and not just centred in the Matabeleland or Midlands.

“It is not only in Kwekwe district, but it is a challenge in the country,” said Maziriri.

“I understand people’s frustration in not having Ndebele teachers, however, as a ministry we have a shortfall.

“Your children in the community, the Ndebele speaking communities, are not forthcoming to take up the subject. We really need to send children from our community to take up these courses.”