Chiefs warn schools over incentives

The president of the chiefs’ council, Chief Fortune Charumbira has raised concern over schools that are incentivizing teachers, saying the move has widen the education gap between rural and urban schools.

Chief Fortune Charumbira
Chief Fortune Charumbira

Charumbira warned schools, particularly those in urban areas, to stop incentives amid reports that teachers are transferring from rural areas to schools that give incentives.

He told Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Mwenezi East Legislator Kudakwashe Bhasikiti during a consultative meeting last week that the pass rate for rural schools has continued to go down as experienced teachers leave for greener pastures.

“As chiefs we are really worried with the widening gap between rural and urban education. Teachers from rural schools are getting $300 but those in urban areas are being given an extra $800 as an incentive.

“This has forced experienced teachers from the rural schools to transfer to urban areas. This issue should be dealt with or the gap between rural and urban education will continue to widen,” said the chief.

Schools in Masvingo Urban and Chiredzi, where teachers get incentives, have dominated the top 10 grade seven, O’ and A’ level results for the past five years while those from rural schools finished bottom.

Bhasikiti promised to raise the issue in cabinet. The Chiefs also told him that many of them had been left out during the land “reform” programme

“Only chiefs from Masvingo did not benefit from the programme. We want farms so that we can practice ‘Zunde ramambo’ and feed our people. We have been patient for quite some time now and its high time government gives us farms,” said Chief Shindi from Chivi district.

Chief Ndanga from Zaka district said there were a number of farms lying idle and not being utilized by the resettled farmers and called upon government to reposes such farms and allocate them to Chiefs.

“In my area there are vast acres of fertile land which the beneficiaries of the programme are failing to utilize,” he said.

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