A COMBATIVE teachers’ union has psyched up the educators to boycott invigilating the June examinations until government complies with a High Court ruling ordering it to equip schools with facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The “O” and “A” Level Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) examinations kick off next Tuesday.
However, in an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said teachers would boycott invigilating the mid-year exams due to failure by government to comply with the High Court order.
“The issue of invigilating June exams is before the courts, where both Zimsec and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education had promised to put testing kits, thermometers, sanitisers, PPEs [personal protective equipment] in schools by June 26,” Zhou said.
“They also promised that they would have cleaned and disinfected schools currently used as quarantine centres by then.
“Surprisingly, the ministry and Zimsec have been belting and bellowing instructions to school heads to scavenge for COVID-19 abatement requirements at a zero budget, an impossible feat indeed.
“Some school heads have also been belting instructions to candidates to have paid second term school fees by June 30.”
He added: “To all teachers in Zimbabwe, be advised that the issue of invigilation is before the courts, all communiqués made so far have no locus standi and must be disregarded forthwith. Our health, safety and welfare should come first.
“Anything else must be resisted by all means possible. We can’t fasttrack our demise by dicing with death and being reckless with our health, safety and welfare.
“All teachers in Zimbabwe must forthwith disregard unlawful instructions from some school heads threatening teachers with unspecified action should they not report for invigilation.
“Teachers are duly advised to resist all unlawful instructions from school heads, DSIs [district schools inspectors], PEDs [provincial education directors] and head office. We have nothing to fear.”
Zhou said teachers were not employed by Zimsec and should disregard an order from the schools examination authority.