PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora has said the government would rely on temporary staff to teach the 16 official languages that are recognised in the new Constitution as there were currently no qualified teachers.
Dokora said this in the National Assembly on Wednesday while responding to Kariba MP Isaac Mckenzie who wanted to know what the government’s policy was with regards the recruitment of untrained teachers, especially those teaching local languages in the country.
Mckenzie had initially directed the question to the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry.
“I thank the honourable member for raising the question and correctly identifying the line ministry that has the mandate in the government to employ all civil servants, including those that are yet to be trained,” Dokora said.
“However, I am aware as a user ministry that there are areas where we have challenges to do with languages relating to the 16 that have been officially recognised in the new Constitution.
“I think that is an open secret that we do not have the quantum of trained personnel to manage classes in those languages. Therefore, temporary teachers will be a feature for the foreseeable future.”
Dokora said the temporary teachers would be required to possess minimum qualifications.
“However, even temporary teachers must present a minimum of qualifications that satisfy the employer requirements, which is the five subjects presented at ‘O’ Level and other requisites that they are not criminal, et cetera, which are the normal screening processes of the Civil Service Commission,” he said.
According to the Constitution, Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa are all recognised as official languages in Zimbabwe.
In 2011, the Education ministry under David Coltart introduced the teaching of Tonga in Binga and pupils sat for their first ever examination in the language in Grade 7.