The South African government has offloaded at least 300 Zimbabwean teachers in Mpumalanga Province, triggering further woes for the troubled education sector. Thousands of teachers who left Zimbabwe to seek greener pastures in the neighbouring country are set to be affected by the move since the ANC government is creating space for South African citizens ahead of the upcoming municipal polls.
It is understood hundreds of teachers from Gauteng and Limpopo provinces have also been sacked under a programme code-named Fundza Lushaka(the same name used for a student support scheme). The teachers’ contracts were terminated without due notice, reports from South Africa state.
Hundreds of teachers are flocking back out of that country to seek employment in government and in the private sector- in a country already hard hit by an disturbing unemployment level. A returning teacher who declined to be named told our reporters:”Our future looks bleak and we do not know where to start from. I was based in Mpumalanga province but my contract was terminated without due notice. I am trying to run around looking for employment but the Ministry views returning teachers as rebels.”
To worsen the returning teachers’ plight, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Lazarus Dokora has already indicated in a statement the education sector is grappling with over-staffing. “We are reaching a saturation point for primary and secondary school teachers,” said Dokora.
However Zimta Secretary General, John Mlilo, said the government has to immediately put in place measures to boost the economy in order to accommodate the teachers returning from exile. The majority of the teachers left the country at the height of socio-political challenges in the country.