Zim Rural School Children Stranded

This is despite calls by Education Minister David Coltart to employ the teachers to allow schools to re-open.

However, pupils have been forced to stay at home due to the confusion.

A survey conducted by Radio VOP around the district revealed that some schools that had 100 percent untrained teachers remained closed on Monday.

Most of the affected schools are in the remotest parts of Hurungwe, which are shunned by trained teachers.

A Magunje district education official who refused to be named said, ‘’We received a directive on Tuesday last week stopping us from recruiting untrained teachers from our provincial offices. We are still yet to resume though we had accepted papers of nearly 300 teachers against the required 1 000 in the district.”

Scores of untrained teachers milled around the provincial offices at Magunje on Monday, hoping to be re-employed.

“I have been coming here since Wednesday last week hoping that I will be accepted but there is nothing positive,” said an untrained teacher who was based at Mjinga school, 80 kilometres from Magunje.

Mashonaland West provincial education officer Sylvester Mashayamombe said: “We are still waiting for clearance from Public Service Commission to recruit more teachers. It is a national issue.’’

There are an estimated 25 000 untrained teachers in the country.

The Finance Minister Tendai Biti said a civil servant audit conducted by government had exposed 45 000 ghost workers among the 250 000 government employees.

However PSC chairman Mariyawanda Nzuwa disputed Biti’s announcement saying it was premature to talk about the result of the audit.

This is coming at a time when civil servants have promised to down tools as they want a salary increment. Government employees earn US$150-250 a month, but are demanding US$500-600 a month.