Crime and Courts

Prospective teachers lose thousands to bogus agents

MILLICENT HUNGWE

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has warned prospective teachers to be on the on the lookout for conmen on the loose who are masquerading as government recruitment agents, fleecing would be teachers of ‘processing fee’.

The conmen promise college leavers with teaching posts and go on to demand a processing fee in order for one to get a job in the ministry and the practice is said to be rampant throughout the country using WhatsApp groups.

Director of Communication and Advocacy in the ministry, Taungana Ndoro told The Midweek Watch that they don’t have agents who recruit teachers on their behalf and all those who go around claiming to be agents are just fraudsters.

Ndoro said the bogus officials have created several whatsapp groups countrywide targeting prospective teachers and claim they can fast track their recruitment in various parts of the country.   

The criminals charge between US$300 to US$500 for one to ‘secure’ a teaching post.

 Ndoro said the fraudsters even send fake confirmation letters of deployment to their victims.

“It has come to the attention of the ministry that there are some fraudsters operating online who have created whatsapp groups in most parts of the country targeting prospective teachers who want teaching posts.

“Some have fallen prey after paying the money they are issued with a fake deployment letter to schools in rural areas and when they reach those schools that’s when they discover that they have been duped, as there will be no official communication of their deployment with authorities,” he said.

Ndoro added that the ministry does not conduct employment recruitment on whatsapp and no ministry officials demand payment to facilitate recruitment.

“This is a clarion call to all prospective teachers that the ministry does not charge people to join teaching, one must just ensure his or her application is filed with the ministry at district level as well as the Public Service Commission,” he said.

Police have since been notified of the illegal activities but no arrest has been made so far.

According to statistics from MoPSE released last year, there are over 4.6million learners in the country against 140 000 teachers.

The ministry requires at least an additional of more than 40 000 teachers to address the critical teacher, pupil ratio.

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