By Vumani Mthiyane
Jahunda Primary School in Gwanda has been hit by a massive teacher shortage, a development that has affected the smooth running of the school.
The council-run school urgently needs 19 teachers to avert the crisis.
Commenting on teacher shortage and overcrowding of pupils at the school, Gwanda Mayor, Councillor Justone Mazhale said it is a serious cause for concern that is affecting both the teachers and learners.
“I can confirm that here in Gwanda the headmaster with the heaviest headache is Mr Silas Moyo of Jahunda primary school. He has a shortage of 19 teachers and has an enrolment of over 1 000 learners who are overcrowded.
“The situation at Jahunda primary is distressed, some of the classes have an enrollment of 72 pupils per class yet the normal ratio is supposed to be 1 teacher per 35 pupils or less,” confirmed the Mayor adding that as the local authority is working on the issue.
Contacted for comment, the school headmaster Mr Moyo confirmed the development.
“The situation is very bad, I have a staff shortage of 19 teachers with a student enrollment of more than 1 000. Besides staffing issues, the school needs to build more classroom blocks so that we can decongest the existing classes.”
The District Schools Inspector (DSI), Sydney Sibanda said the ministry is doing its level best to recruit more teachers at the school.
Ndaliso Mpande a social activist said this development is affecting some of the pupils’ constitutional rights.
“Besides affecting their pass rate, there are also health issues and water crisis. Most of the times there will be no water and their Jojo tanks will empty thereby prompting water-borne diseases outbreaks.
“Constitutionally I can say this a human right abuse because these children have the right to clean water,” said Mpande.