Igunga — THE government plans to hire and deploy 28,746 teachers in primary and secondary schools starting this month, a move that will reduce by more than half the shortage of teaching staff in government schools in the country.
According to a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications, the country so far has a shortage of 57,177 teachers in government schools, a problem that the State has pledged to eliminate in the coming few years. The new teachers will be drawn from various universities in the country.
President Jakaya Kikwete said in Igunga in Tabora Region on Monday that the State will deploy 14,600 new teachers in primary schools and 14,060 teachers will be posted in secondary schools. A further 80 teachers will be sent to teacher training colleges.
Addressing thousands of residents at Barafu stadium in Igunga, President Kikwete said that the regions with the greatest shortage of teachers would be given priority in the allocation. Tabora Region is one of the regions with the most critical shortage of teachers, with the deficit reaching 2,055.
Igunga District has a shortage of 285 teachers. This will be the second consecutive year that the government employs and deploys a large number of teachers of primary and secondary schools in a bid to end the problem of shortage of teachers. In 2011, the government hired and deployed 24,621 teachers, of whom 11,379 were posted to primary schools and 13,246 teachers were sent to secondary schools.
A further 42 teachers were posted in colleges. While public schools in the country continue to face a shortage of teachers, private schools enjoy a surplus. Private primary schools have a surplus of 2,857 teachers and private secondary schools have a surplus of 459 teachers, something which is reflected in the good performance of these schools.
President Kikwete told a public rally that the government also confronts other problems in the education sector including a shortage of laboratories, shortage of residential houses for teachers and text books for students. The president also mentioned the critical shortage of clean water saying that his government had made significant strides in dealing with the problem in various areas in the country.
In the case of Igunga, President Kikwete said that following the launch of Bulenya Water Project, Igunga town and three villages in the district would now acquire water by 70 per cent.
He promised that the remaining 30 per cent would get a lasting solution from the Lake Victoria water project which will cover Nzega, Igunga and Tabora and villages where the pipeline will pass. President Kikwete, who arrived in Tabora Region on Monday, left Igunga District yesterday for Nzega district.