Maputo — The Mozambican Education Ministry is working with the Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) to investigate how 88 teachers were hired illegally in Mecanhelas district in the northern province of Niassa.
All 88 were expelled from the Mecanhelas schools last week, and there has been no explanation as to how such a large number of people, who allegedly did not meet the requirements for teaching, were allowed to work in the first place.
Speaking to reporters in Maputo on Thursday, Education Minister Carmelita Namashalua said the authorities “are following the matter closely, because this is a crime”.
“Our colleagues in the province are dealing with this strictly. The provincial attorney’s office, and the PGR know about it, and are accompanying the matter”, she said, adding that verification s under way in all the country’s districts to check that there are no other teachers working illegally.
“We cannot allow teachers to work illegally, when they do not yet have any ties with the State”, said Namashalua. She pointed out that all individuals who apply for jobs in the State must pass through a public tender, “and there are rules that must be strictly observed”.
“Every year quotas are established for each province”, she said. “That’s why we announce in the Assembly of the Republic (the Mozambican parliament), that this year we are going to hire so many teachers, and this number is divided by the provinces, and the provinces then sub-divide it by the schools and the districts where there is the greatest need”.
In Mecanhelas, she continued, the next step would be to reorganize the working hours of the teachers, “because this is a district where teachers are not working full time. This is theft from the State. So we are organising so that every teacher has a complete timetable”.
Furthermore, the hiring of new teachers in 2019 and 2020 had been illegal, because in those years the recruitment of teachers had been suspended. Initially. 95 Mecanhelas teachers were regarded as illegal, but seven were allowed to continue teaching after their situation was regularised.