Manicaland Province is experiencing an acute shortage of Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers, forcing some teachers to handle classes of between 150 and 200 pupils.
In some schools, pupils are being taught by teachers who do not have the requisite ECD teaching skills and qualifications.
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Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Edward Shumba, acknowledged there was a crisis in ECD learning across the province, adding that more ECD teachers needed to be recruited. He said:
Each school needs to have at least two ECD teachers so that one takes care of ECD A, while the other takes care of ECD B.
The gap can then be covered by other teachers at that particular school who might not necessarily be ECD teachers, they will then get guidance from the two trained ECD teachers.
We have a challenge in terms of ECD teachers. Efforts are underway to address the issue through our head office’s human resources department.
ECD is a critical stage in the learning process. It is the foundation and we really need to take it seriously.
Marymount Teachers’ College principal Petty Silitshena on Wednesday told Manica Post that the college has churned out a total of 2 000 ECD teachers since the inception of the ECD programme.
She said at the moment, the college has 111 students enrolled for the three-year course.
But despite these huge numbers, the shortage persists, creating a scenario that is not conducive for effective learning.