TTU backs plan on teacher job interview

TANZANIA Teachers Union (TTU) has nodded to the government’s plan to introduce job interview in recruiting public school teachers.

The TTU’s reaction comes after statement issued by Education, Science Technology Minister Prof Adolf Mkenda over the weekend.

Prof Mkenda made the statement in Dar es Salaam at an event to hand over awards to ten pre-primary and primary teachers from various regions, who won in the first digital teaching skills competition in counting and mathematics.

He said the selected applicants would be required to do interviews for the job unlike the current arrangement, where selected applicants are required to report directly to schools.

In a telephone interview with ‘Daily News’, General Secretary of TTU, Mr Maganga Japhet commended the new proposal.

However, he said, it is better if the government considers prioritising volunteering teachers during recruitment because their abilities and integrity are already known.

“Stakeholders’ involvement is also key in improving the government’s good intention of getting the best teachers in the public schools,” Mr Japhet suggested.

He also advised the ministry to embark on public education prior to implementing the plan.

“TTU is close to teachers and so we may have best insights and inputs on how to improve the recruitment procedures,” he pointed.

In line with this, Senior Lecturer from Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) Rev Dr Leons maziku who is an expert in Behavioural Science, observed that the introduction of interview to gauge the teachers’ qualifications was a good idea though, it has come a bit late.

Dr Maziku advised the ministry to set interviews in line with specialised subjects of applicants, adding that the interviews should be aimed at assessing guidance and counseling ability, professionalism, patriotism and environmental conservation skills.

The outspoken senior lecturer and a priest, who has served for 15 years in teaching is positive about the government’s plan.

‘Daily News’ brief survey has established that job interview for public school teachers has been a trend in the East African countries—Kenya and Rwanda among them.

The neighbouring Kenya, for instance, applies the competence test and interview based recruitment procedure where teachers are first required to register themselves in the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC).

In South Africa, the policy is clear that the recruitment procedures for the public schools is democratic and done at the school level after a thorough need analysis and that qualified applicants shall undergo a thorough scrutiny before they are employed.

Further, the South African policy document explains that a person interested “to apply for a vacant teaching post at a school to be registered with South African Council for Educators (SACE).

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