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    Thursday, 14 May 2020

    Increase funding in education to ease overcrowding in schools

    The Zimbabwe Teachers Association, (ZIMTA), is calling on the Government to ensure that funding for education is increased during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
    This call comes amidst observations that schools are understaffed as a result of the ban on employment of teachers imposed by Government in the recent past.  Resultantly, schools have been operating without the required staff compliments, and in some cases teachers’ workload was increased. However, the most undesirable effect of all this has been the huge class sizes, which has resulted in overcrowded classrooms.
    In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic, overcrowded classrooms will not work, therefore the need to employ more qualified teachers in order to ensure that smaller groups of learners may continue to benefit from delivery of quality public education.
    On average several public schools around the country were operating with a ratio of one teacher to sixty learners, (1:60). Because this is unsustainable for the provision of quality public education and more importantly for the effecting of social distances in schools, the situation will have to change.
    Ideal situations would require that teacher to pupil ratios are adjusted to (1: 35) in primary schools whereas in secondary schools, the ratios would have to be adjusted to one teacher for twenty learners, (1:20).
    Consequently adjusting to these levels will require that   Government of Zimbabwe, who is the major guarantor of quality public education for all, must as a matter of urgency employ more qualified teachers to improve staffing levels especially in public schools. 
    According to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE), there are at least 130 000 qualified teachers, currently operating in Zimbabwe. At least 4.5 million learners are found in more than 9000   Primary and Secondary Schools countrywide.
    Increased funding in the education sector will also save to ensure that personal protective equipment  (PPE) is provided  during the Covid-19 pandemic period, for all without limitations.

                                                        ZIMTA CEO Sifiso Ndlovu.
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