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Teacher Exodus Forces Zimbabwe to Rehire Dismissed Teachers

With thousands of teaching positions vacant due to emigration and dissatisfaction by teachers the Zimbabwean government said it will rehire teachers under 55 dismissed between 1980 and 2005, even those sacked for embezzling school funds.

The Ministry of Education issued a directive to regional education directors telling them to re-engage dismissed teachers. Ministry Permanent Secretary Stephen Mahere confirmed the instructions in an interview.

Mahere said the ministry decided to make use of the many people who can help fill in the more than 10,000 open teaching positions. He said that only those dismissed for violent crimes such as murder or rape would not be welcomed back into schools.

Former Zimbabwe Teachers Association Secretary General Dennis Sinyolo, now coordinator for Belgian-based Education International, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that rehiring dismissed teachers is just a stopgap.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...