By William Milasi

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has said that the country is in shortage of teachers who are dedicated to duty.

Addressing hundreds of mourners who had gathered to pay their last respect to a Kwekwe headmaster who died in a road accident over the weekend, Education Deputy Minister Paul Mavima described the late Stanislous Mugwanda as, “a rare pedigree.”

The remains of Mungwanda were interred at Masasa cemetery.

“This one is a hero,” said Mavima.

“The Ministry recognizes that without our Middle Line team of Provincial Education Directors (PEDs), District Schools Inspectors (DSIs), and our teachers and headmasters who are our front line members we will not succeed as ministry,” he said.

“If a soldier dies whilst executing his duties he deserves to be accorded due respect. In this regard Mr Mugwanda died in the course of duty and he needs to be accorded with respect,” the education Minister said.

Mugwanda in the company of three other teachers were travelling from a National Secondary School Heads (NASH) conference which was held in Kariba before their vehicle was involved in an accident which happened in the Nemakonde area.

The Amaveni headmaster died upon admission at Chinhoyi Provincial hospital whilst the remaining headmasters escaped with injuries.

“Dedication of these teachers (teachers who trained during the colonial period) like Mugwanda is now rare,

“Their pedigree was committed and dedicated to duty. When we had an economic crisis in 2008 most teachers who are of the younger generation left the country for greener pastures but this generation remained behind,” said Mavima.

The Minister also said that whilst the ministry is pushing for a teacher’s council to put in place teaching standards the generation of the deceased have standards which are internalized within them.

“They don’t fade away. They live through the lives of those whom they might have influenced in a positive way,” said the deputy minister who is also a former Amaveni Secondary School Student.

 Provincial Education Director (PED) Agnes Gudo described the deceased as an accomplished administrator.

Gudo has however urged headmasters to desist from raising any negative speculations on the death of Mugwanda as is trending on the headmaster’s social media platform.

“Some of the messages trending on the platform are not good. We must not raise any negative speculations but agree with me that Mugwanda died whilst in the course of duty.”

NASH president Johnson Madhuku echoed the same sentiments.

“There are some individuals who are raising negative speculations about this accident and we must stop that,” Madhuku said without elaborating on the speculations.

Mugwanda’s son Tawanda said that the family has lost a pillar of strength.

Born on 6 October 1954 Mugwanda is survived with wife Chipo Constance Mugwanda nee Masito and five children.

He began his teaching career at Gokomere High School and Zimuto High School.

With a career which spans nearly four decades Mugwanda has led many schools which included Manunure, Ndima and Amaveni High School.