Featured - Local - Top Stories - March 22, 2021

Schools open amid teachers’ protest

The Amalgated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has mobilised teachers under them in a protest today with the intention of registering their demands for Zimbabwe’s educational sector.

The union mobilised this protest under its #SaveOurEducation campaign. Under this campaign, ARTUZ registers three main demands for teachers which are the restoration of 520 USD salary for teachers, safety in schools in the face of covid19 pandemic and free Basic education as promised by the government in 2018.

Before October 2018, teachers used to earn as much as USD520 or slightly above but now they earn the equivalent of less than USD200.

Last week, cabinet approved a 75% pay increment offer for civil servants but this development has not been welcomed by teachers under ARTUZ as it still doesn’t tally with their demand of USD520 salary restoration.

Speaking to BusinessMail, ARTUZ Deputy Secretary General Munyaradzi Masiiwa said Zimbabwe has a serious crisis in education which needs prompt attention.

“Today ARTUZ is mobilising parents and teachers to join hands in the street protest with the intention of registering our concern in view of difficult situation our education sector find itself in. Schools have already opened while no clear teacher covid19 vaccination and testing road map has been spelt out, teachers are already on incapacitation which means learners will be alone at supposed centers of learning.

Grade 7 passrate dropped by 9%, we are reliably informed that O’level exam markers have just stopped taking part in marking , reports of school going girls falling pregnant is swirling without control not to mention drug abuse and drop out no one bothers to take such statistics.

Colleges like Belvedere Technical Teachers College is failing to have a full post A’level student teacher class to commence studies towards deploma in education due to lack of attractiveness the teaching proffesion has become,” he said.

Schools have fully opened with non-examination classes resuming lessons today after the Covid-19 induced break.

However, the dispute between government and teachers will have most negative impacts on rural learners, who learnt just a few months last year due to the break and has been incapacitated by the digital divide which made online possible slightly impossible for them.

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