More than 5 300 extra teachers are being employed to enable schools to run smaller classes and minimise the risk of a spike in Covid-19 infections.
The first batch of 2 300 teachers is expected to be recruited before the last classes return to schools in the phased reopening on November 9, while the other 3 000 are expected to be employed before the end of the year.
The smaller classes are part of measures recommended by the World Health Organisation. During early phases of the reopening process other teachers can help out.
Zimbabwe has a reservoir of unemployed qualified teachers who are waiting for a chance to join the Public Service and the chance might come earlier if teachers continue with their industrial action.
Confirming the development, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema said in keeping with social distancing, the classes would be broken into smaller groups handled by additional teachers.
“We are recruiting 2 300 teachers, and the process has already started as we speak. We will recruit 3 000 more and we expect to employ 5 300 teachers before the end of the year.”
“WHO and the Ministry of Health requires us to reduce the number of learners in a classroom to minimise the risk of spreading the virus,” said Minister Mathema.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said training in infection prevention and control is underway in all provinces for everyone employed at schools to help them handle pupils during the pandemic.
“Priority training of teaching and non-teaching staff on Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures for phase 1 is underway in all the provinces, while logistical arrangements for phase 2 staff training are being organised,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.