Swaziland (eSwatini) might get 900 additional teachers to help schools as they reopen after the coronavirus lockdown.
Minster of Education and Training Lady Howard Mabuza said she expected the Swazi Government to approve the hiring of teachers immediately.
In an interview with the Times of eSwatini she said the teachers would replace those who had retired, died or left the profession. She added they were also renewing contracts for teachers who were employed on a temporary basis.
She could not say how many of the 900 teachers would be permanent.
Schools began to reopen on Monday (29 March 2021) and the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) argued that for safety reasons the number of pupils per class should be limited to a maximum of 20.
The Times reported, 'The hiring of the teachers comes at a time when many schools were failing to function due to the lack of educators. In some schools, pupils were left unattended as teachers had to run around trying to settle in other learners. The lack of teachers in schools was one element which had resulted in a huge disorder on the first day of reopening of schools on Monday.'
SNAT Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini said the need was not only for the renewal of contracts for teachers employed on a temporary basis, but also for new teachers who would be appointed for the first time.
Dlamini estimated 5,000 additional teachers were needed. He said there were about 335,000 learners at school in Swaziland.