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Teachers Won’t Make It School Come Opening Day, Teachers Unions Said


By Helen Kadirire STAFF WRITER

AS schools will resume on Monday and Grade and results have been released, teachers across the country have filed for incapacitation due to their meager monthly salaries.



According to a statement by the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) president Richard Gundani, their salaries are not enough to cater for their basic upkeep.


Teachers have over the years gone on strike towards schools opening citing poor remuneration packages that have been eroded by inflation.



In the statement Gundani said the salaries earned in January 2022 cannot support their transport costs to and from work for both urban and rural teachers.


He said teachers’ patience has been stretched and they now feel provoked, underrated and abused by government.



“Educators have failed to pay school fees and buy school uniforms for their children, let alone failure to subsist as families, a scenario that has pushed educators to moonlight. Without a meaningful salary increase educators have no way of going back to assume their duties. The response from government in the last National Joint Negotiating Committee meeting did not give an aorta of hope, instead it squandered all the goodwill that educators had credited the negotiating platform with,” Gundani said.



The Zimta president further stated that the US$75 Covid-19 allowance was a hoax by government meant to fool them into thinking that they care for their welfare.


He further highlighted that government should conclude the salary issue with urgency as teachers incapacitation to return to work is now obvious.


Teachers that spoke to Sly Media said if government does not act soon, they would be forced not to return to work on Monday.



One teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity said her salary cannot get her to enroll her son into an ECD A class because it is not enough.



“Imagine being a teacher and your own child cannot even go to school because your salary alone cannot pay the fees. Now imagine I have to commute daily to Epworth from Mbare while also making sure that I am dressed appropriately and fed. The salary is now a slap in the face to my education degree,” she said.



The teacher added that if she does not charge her pupils US$1 every week, her family will starve and she will not be able to get to work.



While most schools were closed due to Covid-19 regulations by government, most were demanding full fees for conducting online lessons over the lockdown.



Rural learners have been the worst affected by the lockdown and online lessons as most either do not have smart mobile phones or access to the internet to connect with their teachers.


Robert Tapfumaneyi