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MBABANE – Most schools will fully-engage in online learning, which might be a challenge though with the shortage of teachers.

The non-hiring of teachers by government will result in a double load for the available teachers. According to Eswatini Principals Association President Welcome Mhlanga, they were hoping to prepare a timetable to be followed by pupils who will be at home but there will be implications due to the glaring shortage of teachers. He said the shortage of teachers would result in schools reopening in a state of confusion. Mhlanga said most pupils would find themselves without teachers. He said if the challenge of teachers was not addressed, the educators would find themselves teaching pupils present at school and preparing online learning for those who would be sitting at home, hence the work would be doubled.


Mhlanga stated that classes were divided in order to follow the COVID-19 protocols, meaning that the other class would not have an instructor due to the shortage of teachers. “The shortage is very serious and has been raised with the Ministry of Education and Training through the right platforms.” He advised head teachers to observe what happens in the schools and compile a report in order to submit something substantial to the ministry. He said they declared the vacant posts and the ministry was aware of them. He stated that the issue was that the central government standardised the issue of hiring civil servants yet with schools it was completely different. “Even if the teachers wanted to teach the pupils at school, the rotation is affected and it will be difficult for them as they will be having more work.” Mhlanga said other teachers were tutoring on national radio and were recording lessons for pupils. He also said government needed to consider hiring teachers.

St Mark’s Mathematics Head of Department Gugu Nhlabatsi said the issue of teachers was a challenge. Nhlabatsi said they were definitely challenged by the shortage of teachers following the promotion of their deputy to another school and they were seeking a replacement together with several temporary teachers whose contracts had not been renewed. However, she stated that the school had made an arrangement and some of the contract teachers had volunteered to come. 


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