Teachers, Government Clash Over Reopening Of Schools
5 March 2021
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Some teachers’ unions on Wednesday said that teachers are financially incapacitated and would not be able to report for duty until their salaries and working conditions are improved.

Speaking to NewsDay, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said the government risks a repeat of what happened in late 2020 when schools were reopened in the absence of teachers. Said Masaraure:

It is very unfortunate and tragic that the government of Zimbabwe is opening up schools without capacitating the teachers who ordinarily teach there.

The teachers will neither be able to show up for duty nor pay the school fees for their own children.

Government is acting like the proverbial fool who repeats the same mistake and expects different results. The crisis of September 28 will haunt us.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou echoed Masaraure’s sentiments, saying the opening of schools this month will be “mission impossible” for teachers as they are financially incapacitated. He said:

As teachers who are nearer the schools and classrooms, we want to tell Mnangagwa that teachers will not be able to report for work on March 15, 2021, as they are grossly incapacitated.

There is no need for the State to be inconsiderate by giving teachers an impossible mission of opening schools on March 15.

Teachers are demanding a basic salary of US$520 or its equivalent in the local currency, roughly ZWL$43 160.00.

However, the government insists that it has no capacity to pay in foreign currency or the equivalent in local currency.

Schools will re-open for the 2021 calendar on a phased approach with examination classes commencing on March 15 while the rest of the learners will resume classes on March 22.- NewsDay

Takavafira Zhou