GOVERNMENT yesterday said it was ready for schools opening tomorrow and has deployed 2 700 new teachers to complement the existing staff.
The deployment is part of the 5 000 that Public Service Commission allowed the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to recruit this year.
In an interview, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mrs. Tumisang Thabela said from their end they are ready to welcome learners for the new term.
“We have so far recruited 2 700 teachers from the 5 000 that were approved by Treasury. They have been deployed to several schools across the country. Most of them have been deployed to most critical areas that include infant, Early Childhood Development, Grades One and Two and our specialist subjects which are sciences and vocational subjects. We are continuing to develop the indigenous languages so that’s another area that has attracted the emerging recruitment,” said Mrs. Thabela.
She said the Ministry is alive to some of the challenges that are affecting schools including scarce teaching and learning resources.
Mrs Thabela said despite recruiting 2 700 new teachers, there is still a shortage of teachers in schools and the Ministry will continue engaging Central Government to address the issues.
Meanwhile, parents and guardians have lamented expensive stationery as they prepare for the school's opening.
The parents said some school fees were reasonable but uniforms and books were now very expensive.
Public schools in Bulawayo charge between $200 and $500 yet a complete uniform is selling for more than $2 000.
A school shirt is pegged at $276, a pair of trousers $253, a pair of stockings $65, school shoes $499, school shorts $288 and a blazer $805.
Parents with children going for ECD, Grade 1 and Form One said they were the worst affected by the back to school budget.
A parent Ms Gladys Moyo said beside fees, schools are also demanding stationery such as bond paper.
“My child is going to ECD A and I have to buy everything from scratch, and the money that is being charged by shops is too much. I feel like I am failing as a parent honestly. My children look up to me to do everything for them but with this situation I cannot, the prices are just too high” she said.
Another parent, Ms. Virginia Ncube said with the implementation of the competence-based new curriculum, schools were making more demands. “As it is my daughter is going to Form One, she is expected to have about 30 counter books. I don’t have the money to buy them but I just have to sacrifice and make the most out of the little I have. A three-quire counter book is going for $65. Imagine buying 30 of those before we talk of fees, levies, uniforms, and other requirements.,” she said.
Mr. Arnold Gumbo said his son was going to a boarding school and basic commodities were just too expensive considering he still has to feed his family at home.-@nqotshili/@zinyuke98/@missngara/@michellzvanyanyan2
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