Qualified but unemployed teachers have criticised the online teacher recruitment system saying it overlooked those who completed their studies a few years ago in favour of recent graduates.
This comes after the government released a list of 3 816 educators recruited by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to serve in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
Some unemployed teachers said the online system disadvantaged those who had graduated earlier, as their details were not captured.
One of the aggrieved unemployed teachers told CITE that he graduated in 2019 and registered in December of the same year but is yet to be offered a job by the government. Said the teacher:
I graduated from the United College of Education in 2019 with a Diploma in Education specialising in Early Child Development.
I registered in December when registration opened and all those who I registered with have been employed including applicants who graduated later than me yet my name should be on the system.
I have been to the education office in Bulawayo, travelled all the way to Maphisa in Matobo and Plumtree to register but we are always told to come register and update our details.
Before the online system was introduced, unemployed teachers would submit their certification documents at their respective district or provincial education offices.
In an interview with CITE, Director of Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, said there were a number of fundamentals that were factored so it was unfair to criticise the recruitment system. Ndoro said:
Did these teachers do the same subjects, did they ask to be deployed in the same area, which districts or provinces did they sign for. All these are factors that come into play.
He stressed that the government could not hire all the unemployed teachers as there were few vacancies. Said Ndoro:
You must investigate how many vacancies we have and the number of unemployed teachers.
There are about 20 000 to 30 000 unemployed teachers out there yet the ministry only has 3 000 vacancies, how do you expect us to take them all?.
What if the ‘lucky ones’ also applied several times before. As I said there are fundamentals that are considered when applicants apply.
Those who apply should not despair; their turn will come and will be taken if they are still interested.
Ndoro said that the online system was centralised at the head office and managed jointly by the PSC, adding it was “very unlikely” that it could be manipulated.