Inflation has wiped out the budget for the Zimbabwean government resulting in its failure to recruit teachers required to minimise the shortfall of educators at the country’s public schools.
“I engaged the Ministry of Labour regarding this particular situation. We were promised 5 000 teachers this year, but because of inflation, we have managed to engage a small percentage of the required teachers,” Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu told Parliament during a question-and-answer session on Wednesday
In June, the Primary and Secondary Education ministry announced that it would hire 5 000 teachers by September after revealing that the country had a shortfall of 25 000.
Initially, the ministry wanted to recruit 10 000 teachers before the figure was slashed by half.
Meanwhile, teachers are meeting today to finalise plans for a strike after they received measly July salaries of less than US$50 on the parallel market, despite a 100% salary increment in June.
Educators have also been quitting their jobs in droves in protest over poor salaries, further depleting staffing levels in schools.
Ndlovu admitted that inflation had paralysed the ministry’s plans to address the crisis facing the education sector, including hiring more teachers.
“However, the challenge is that our budgeted resources were affected by the hyperinflation, which culminated in the government failing to remunerate teachers. So I would like to request that we be considered during the supplementary budget.” Ndlovu said.
She also said rising inflation has also affected the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) programme, whereby the government pays tuition fees for the disadvantaged and orphans.