March 17, 2021

Uncertainty over schools opening as teachers threaten strike

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Donald Mandizvidza and Pepertua Rojasi

Teachers unions have cast doubt over the re-opening of schools for the non-examination classes, saying the government should at least review their salaries and consider their welfare amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schools opened for the first time this year on Monday this week for the examination classes with the rest of the students set to open on March 22.

This also comes after Progressive Teacher’s Union Zimbabwe Secretary General Raymond Majongwe said government should increase their salaries to match what other civil servants are earning.

Speaking in a virtual discussion on ZTN, Majongwe said teachers’ needs and challenges should be addressed before non-examination classes resume learning on March 22.

“Government should address minimum demands that teachers are putting on the table.

Teachers are earning salaries that are far less than what other government employees are getting.

“At least the government should increase our salaries up to ZW$30 000 that every other civil servant is earning then from that we will be back at work”, said Majongwe.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said schools are not ready to open given the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are not fully ready but we are partially ready to get to work around Covid-19 challenges that we have as a country.

“We still have shortfalls in terms of PPEs especially in rural schools and these schools need support from the state,” Dr Ndlovu said.

On his part, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro said every school is capacitated with masks and sanitisers as well as clean, safe water.

“We also facilitated the purchase and making of masks and sanitisers. Some of our schools now have the capacity and are now well resourced in making face masks and sanitisers.

“It is now common cause that as a nation we are gripped with this Covid-19 and we know how to handle ourselves,” Ndoro said.

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