By Buhle Tshavango
PRIMARY and Second Education Minister Lazarus Dokora has been castigated by the National Assembly for introducing agriculture subject at primary school level without making provisions for teachers.
According to the new primary and secondary education curriculum which came into effect in January of this year, agriculture is now an examinable subject from primary school level.
Despite introducing the subject, Minister Dokora has failed to ensure there is enough provision of teachers and textbooks for the subject.
During Wednesday’s question and answer session in the National Assembly, Highfield legislator Erick Murai asked the education Minister “In primary schools, according to the new curriculum, agriculture as a subject has become examinable yet there are no teachers, textbooks and other resources to that effect. How are we going to do it when we do not have these in place?
In his response, Dokora said deployment of teachers was now being made in relation to their specialisation during their college days and that not all schools were lacking agriculture teachers.
Proportional Representation legislator Mable Kaundikiza took the opportunity to seek clarification from the minister on the availability of agriculture teachers in urban areas at the expense of rural areas.
Minister Dokora said “…we are not responsible for staffing of teachers. We do not invite them and say we will pay them – There is the employer who should authorise me to employ. I should only have the number of teachers that I require”.
However, his answer did not go down well with legislators who felt there was lack of cohesion between the ministry and the appointment of teachers.
Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi said Minister Dokora acted wrongly by introducing the subject without talking to the ministry that is responsible for hiring of teachers.
“…the answer that has been given by the Honourable Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable. Dr. Dokora is as if his ministry is in South Africa and the ministry that does the hiring of people is in Mozambique or South Africa.
“They are both Cabinet Ministers. How do you introduce subjects before you know how you are going to acquire the teachers for the particular subjects?
“Before the Minister introduced a subject, he should talk to the people that hire and those that release the funds so as to ensure that he is allowed to hire and that there will be funding,” Maridadi said.