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    Thursday, 17 March 2016

    SA province fires 365 Zim teachers


    – The unemployment rate for Zimbabwean teachers is bound to get worse after the South African Government fired 365 of them from Mpumalanga Province five weeks ago, according to documents in the hands of The Mirror.
    The teachers were left stranded as they were not given any notice period.
    It is believed that the ANC Government is creating space for its own people ahead of the 2016 municipal elections and hundreds more Zimbabwean teachers have been affected in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and Eastern Cape provinces.
    The teachers are being replaced under a programme called Fundza Lushaka.
    South African Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshega could not be reachefor comment.
     Zimbabwe has in the last few weeks been inundated by teachers who are returning home from South Africa and are looking for jobs both in private and public schools.
    The Mirror has part of the list of Zimbabwean teachers whose contracts were terminated.
    The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora said, although he was not aware of the dismissals, the Ministry has places for science and ECD teachers. He however, painted a grim picture for teachers outside the two categories.
     "We are reaching saturation point for primary and secondary school teachers. However, we have a shortfall of 4 455 science and maths teachers and we have a Cabinet decision to give 20% retention for this category.
    "We also still need teachers for ECD," said Dokora.
    The Mirror has a letter from a district director .....Magagula send to all circuit managers to terminate employment for all foreign teachers with immediate effect.
    The terse letter to the circuit managers read, "notice of employment of an educator whose previous temporary closed employment contract has expired, at the same institution revised, edu 8 as revised 201503".
    Progressive Teachers' Union secretary general Raymond Majongwe insisted that there was no overstaffing of teachers in Zimbabwe. He argued that the problem was that Government was no longer making education a priority and therefore the sector was on a downward trend.
    He said Government can call back all teachers in South Africa and employ them if the sector is allocated the necessary resources.
    "There is an international protocol signed by Government where States agreed that Education must get 22% of the national budget and here we have less than 12%. There is this approach to please the IMF and other international funders by cutting down on expenditure even in critical areas and the result is that the Educations sector has fallen," said Majongwe.
    He also said that it was an irony that Governmet was saying that there is overstaffing when at the same time the same Government is saying it needed to construct 2096 new schools in order to meet the demand for education.
    "Who will teach in these schools?" asked Majongwe.
    He alleged that the South African Government was playing truancy on Zimbabwean teachers by dismissing them today and rehiring them tomorrow on a new contrcats that have lower salaries.
    Zimta secretary general, John Mlilo saids Government should put in place stimulus packages to boost the economy so that the country does not export skilled labour.
    He also said there was no overstaffing in the schools as the teacher to student ratio is 1:30.
    A source told The Mirror that there are hundreds of teachers who have lost jobs in South Africa recently as the process started in Gauteng and the dismissals carried out in Mpamalanga last month are almost at the tail end of all provinces.
    An analyst said the situation was going to compound the unemployment situation in the country as most of them are being forced to come back home.
    Most Zimbabweans left the country for South Africa to escape from the difficult economic crisis of 2009 and the violent elections that saw some in the rural areas being killed.education news

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