Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Sunday News Reporter
ABOUT 300 teachers have graduated with different qualifications from various tertiary institutions around the country under the Teacher Capacity Development Programme.
The Teacher Capacity Development Programme, a brainchild of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, was launched by President Mugabe two years ago. Over 2 000 educators have so far subscribed to the scholarship programme that is aimed at upgrading teachers’ educational qualifications to effectively contribute to the new curriculum.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango said the inaugural 300 graduates would be presented at a function in Harare this week.
Dr Utete-Masango said the event would be graced by Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora and officials from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
“We have about 300 teachers who have graduated in different areas from various institutions and we are going to host an event on Friday celebrating their achievements. Various dignitaries, including Dr Dokora will grace the occasion. Initially the event had been penciled for 4 November but we have postponed to 11 November,” she said.
Dr Utete-Masango said another batch of the programme’s beneficiaries was expected to graduate next year.
She said funds permitting the Government would want to continue with the Teacher Capacity Developing programme, which she said was a necessity for the satisfactory implementation of the new curriculum framework. The capacity development programme is one of the five pillars of the new education curriculum framework for primary and secondary schools which was piloted this year.
“Teacher capacity development is an important aspect of the new curriculum framework. For teachers to effectively contribute to the new curriculum there is a need for them to upgrade their educational qualifications,” said Dr Utete-Masango.
According to the new curriculum framework, the capacity development programme is meant to upgrade diploma-holding teachers to first education degree professionals. First degree holding teachers will be expected to upgrade to Masters Degrees.
The local universities that have been partnered by the Government for the capacity development programme include the University of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe University, Midlands State University, Bindura University of Science Education and the Zimbabwe Open University.
Some of the disciplines available for further study under the programme include, Sciences, Mathematics, Education Planning, Building and Designing, Languages, Humanities, Information Communication Technology (ICT) among other areas.
At the launch of the programme in July 2014 about $3 million was set aside before an additional $2 million was secured to peg the total funding of the programme at $5 million.
The first batch comprised 2 043 teachers who subscribed for the programme pursuing various programmes at the selected universities.
A total of 530 teachers enrolled at Bindura University of Science Education, 200 at Great Zimbabwe University, 501 at Midlands State University and 701 at the Zimbabwe Open University.
Under the programme, beneficiaries have their tuition covered by Government for the duration of their study and the money will not be deducted from their salaries, as they would be bonded and expected to work for Government for a specified period.