Teachers abandon low-paying rural schools

school_childrenMUTASA Pupils in rural areas are likely to miss out on lessons when schools open next Tuesday, as more teachers are transferring to private and mission schools that offer better incentives.

School heads confirmed that their schools had been hit by an exodus of teachers and put out an SOS from the provincial office.

An official at the Mutare Education Provincial Office said there were more vacancies in rural schools as teachers left in droves.

Since the introduction of the multi-currency system, parents in remote areas cannot afford to pay the money being demanded by teachers as incentives. This has resulted in more teachers opting to transfer to urban schools, said the official.

Due to scarcity of the US dollar in remote parts of the country, parents were opting to pay teachers chickens and goats as incentives, but teachers were demanding hard cash for their service.

Teachers in government are earning less than US$200, while private schools pay more than US$400.

We cannot continue to work for a song because we have families to feed. If there are no incentives to boost our morale we dont the reason why we should stay put, said a teacher from Pafiwa High School.

Meanwhile, NGOs such as FOST and Mercy Corps have moved in to assist schools in rural areas with stationery and furniture. A total of 16 primary schools in Mutare have benefited from this programme.

Post published in: World News

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