Evelyn Ndlovu

NGUNGUMBANE Satellite Secondary School in Mberengwa, Midlands only has two qualified teachers amid reports that efforts to engage the Primary and Secondary Education ministry to address the staff shortages have been futile.

The school  was established in 2012, and has an estimated 140 learners with one class for Form 1 to Form 4 respectively.

A number of satellite schools were set up after the land reform programme.

Nothiwani Dlodlo, a villager, said they even engaged Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu over the desperate teacher staffing challenges at the satellite school, but there has been no change.

“Last year, Form 4 students had no Ndebele, English, Geography, Commerce and Agriculture teachers until they wrote their final examinations,” Dlodlo said.

“We raised this with the Mberengwa District schools inspector (DSI) Germination Moyo and he promised to have his issue addressed.

“We also engaged the Education minister, but up to now there are no teachers.”

Dlodlo said it was disturbing that schools were about to close for the first term with students having learnt nothing, a situation contributing to a poor pass rate.

The Mberengwa DSI confirmed the teacher staffing challenges at the school when contacted for comment, but claimed his office was seized with the issue.

“The issue is that the school used to have five teachers in line with the number of learners it had,” Moyo said.

“One teacher transferred, while another absconded and never returned.

“There is a process to replace those teachers, but in the case of one who absconded, he has to be removed from the system before he is replaced and the ministry is working on that.

He said parents must be patient as addressing staff shortages was not an overnight process.

“Everything is in the process of being addressed even though parents may feel short changed.

“The minister, deputy minister and all other ministry officials are concerned over this.”

He added: “I am responsible for this district and do you think that I cannot be concerned about the poor results in one of my schools?

“The problem we have at the school is small enrolment and due to that, it cannot have more than five teachers.”

Meanwhile, it also emerged that at Ngungumbane Primary School that was founded in 1932, at least 30 students who wrote their Grade Seven in 1995 have not received their examination slips.

In rural Matabeleland, a number of schools have poor infrastructure and many qualified teachers do not want to work there.

Due to lack of resources and shortage of qualified teachers, the pass rate for most of the schools is always at 0%.

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