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Govt responds to deployment of non-Ndebele teachers

Nkayi North legislator Sithembiso Nyoni (Zanu PF) said the government had acted on the concerns and decentralised the deployment of teachers.

GOVERNMENT has decentralised the deployment of teachers in response to a public outcry over the increasing number of non-Ndebele teachers in Matabeleland.

There has been an outcry by parents, educationists, activists and politicians over the deployment of non-Ndebele-speaking teachers in Matabeleland.

Critics said it was to blame for the low pass rate in the region.

In 2022, the Silobela community rejected non-Ndebele-speaking teachers deployed by the government to take early childhood development (ECD) classes in the area.

Nkayi North legislator Sithembiso Nyoni (Zanu PF) said the government had acted on the concerns and decentralised the deployment of teachers.

“The recruitment of teachers is now localised. This is one of the issues that we fought for,” Nyoni, who is also the Environment, Climate and Wildlife minister, said during a virtual discussion organised by Nkayi Community Parliament on Tuesday.

“What is left for us to fight for is that the head of Public Service in Nkayi and the head of the Education Department in Nkayi must work together and agree on the deployment.

“I even engaged the permanent secretary of (Primary and Secondary) Education ... The permanent secretary said it is up to us here to employ teachers from Nkayi.”

The deployment of teachers in the region has dominated Parliament over the years.

At one time, parents pushed for the removal of teachers who did not speak the local language.

Government has previously insisted on having teachers who speak the local language taking ECD classes.

“Now the ball is in our court. We must make sure that the two departments recruit teachers who have local language capabilities. We have even submitted the list of teachers who are qualified to them,” Nyoni said.

“We will have to make a follow up to see if they have recruited them. The central government has since decentralised, it is up to us on how we recruit the teachers.”

Last week, Binga South legislator Fanuel Cumanzala (Citizens Coalition for Change) complained in Parliament over the deployment of non-Tonga-speaking teachers in Binga.

Cumanzala questioned the Primary and Secondary Education ministry on why it is leaving out qualified Tonga-speaking teachers.

Critics said the recognition of all 16 languages in the country’s new Constitution was key in solving the problem.

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