The deployment of non-Ndebele speaking teachers in rural areas where Ndebele is the main language has riled some councillors in Zibagwe Rural District Council (ZRDC) who are now demanding government to act on the issue.
According to some of the Councillors, the zero percent pass-rate in some areas like Silobela can be attributed to this anomaly.
According to the rural council's audit reports, some schools within Zibagwe are recording zero percent pass rates in national examinations.
"Pass rates are still a challenge with schools like Rhino Zibagwe Secondary getting zero percent in both 2017 and 2018 results. There is therefore need to intensify efforts on improving pass rates in these schools," read an internal report by the local leaders.
Making his contribution in a full council meeting Tuesday, Silobela Councillor Willard Moyo said the school's dismal performance can be traced back to the deployment of non-Ndebele speaking teachers into predominantly Ndebele schools.
"The poor pass rate is a testimony that government is deploying non-Ndebele speaking teachers in predominantly Ndebele speaking areas.
"Infants in Early Childhood Development (ECD) classes are not being taught in their mother tongue. They are being destroyed from a very elementary stage and a formative stage in the learning period," Councillor Moyo said.
"It's sad that we have teachers coming straight from college and don't know the mother language in the areas they are deployed. Such a situation is a fertile ground for the destruction of our children's future."
Moyo added that the country's development should be anchored on respect for the diverse language culture as enshrined in the Constitution.
"For us to develop as a country, there is need to respect languages which are enshrined in the Constitution. There is need for people to respect Ndebele as a language," he said.
Councillor Rogers Nhari added that misuse of funds in rural schools is also a major cause of concern.
"There is misuse of funds in the schools and we are not seeing action being taken. We are calling upon government to act on the issue and bring to book the culprits.
"We are very disturbed that we have school headmasters who are misusing funds resulting in poor performance in our schools," Nhari said.
However, a Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education official stationed in Kwekwe, Nicholas Zvihwati argued the low pass rates are recorded at satellite schools.
"The Ministry is seized with the matter as it is a serious cause for concern. We are really worried with the poor pass rate. We observed that schools registering zero percent pass rates are satellite schools.
"In most cases, the schools are manned by acting school headmasters. The school heads will be incapacitated to fully execute their mandate as they will be in an acting capacity," Zvihwati said.
"In the district, we have identified 40 satellite schools and we are working on regularising the schools so that they will have substantive headmasters so as to capacitate them to deal with the zero percent pass rate issue."