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Zimbabwe Teachers Vow Not To Go Back To School

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Zimbabwean teachers have threatened not to return to school as schools open this Monday unless Government addresses their conditions of service and a Covid-19 allowance.

Biggest teachers’ unions-Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) have said their members will stay home as schools reopen for lessons after six months of lockdown.

Teachers want a minimum US$520 monthly salary (Z$42,488) compared to about Z$5,000 they are currently getting.

In a statement, Zimta said: “The Zimta executive hereby declares that all educators will not be able to report for duty on the 28th of September 2020 for opening of schools. We want to negotiate Covid-19 allowance to reflect the risk of heading back to the classroom before members returned to work.”

Government closed schools in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus and introduced online and radio lessons for learners. However, only pupils from wealthy families could afford online education while many also failed to adjust to the new normal of following lessons on radio, with many parts of the country also with no access to radio transmission.

PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe told journalists Sunday that teachers were incapacitated to go back to work.

“Teachers have been reduced to poor people. President Mnangagwa should know that we are incapacitated, we can’t come from the Mugabe era where we were not recognized at all to the Second Republic where we suffer similar challenges. Teachers are not going back to school until all demands are met,” he said.

The country is still recording new Covid-19 cases though minimal, with a cumulative 7 812 recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Only the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec) sitting classes which are Grade Seven, Form Four, and Form Six are opening Monday as government adopted a three phased reopening of schools.

Cambridge sitting examination classes opened on September 14 while the other classes will open end of next month and mid-November.

Government has also indicated it will employ 6 000 teachers to cater for extra numbers in the wake of the new normal social distancing in class which reduces number of pupils in a class

Government has emphasized on the need for schools to strictly adhere to set down regulations so as to minimize exposure to Covid-19.

During the lockdown, health workers were also on strike citing incapacitation as they downed tools but reversed their decision early this month after engagement with the new Health Minister who is also Vice President Costantino Chiwenga.

They returned to work following a decision by their representative body-the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) to give dialogue a chance, and until now talks are still underway

The VP recently said a package will be announced soon after talks.


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