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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Teachers boycott classes in Gweru

Richard Shumba and Vimbai Nyamukutu
CHAOS characterized today’s schools reopening as dozens of teachers failed to travel to their workstations citing incapacitation.

Most schools in the Midlands province witnessed a few teachers turning up for work despite full attendance by pupils.
The Sun news crew visited the Zimbabwe teachers association (ZIMTA offices in Gweru and witnessed teachers being given declaration of incapacitation letters to support their absence from work.

The teachers union’s national executive resolved to declare a state of incapacitation by its members effective from 7 February 2022 as they bemoan that they cannot cater for daily transport costs as well as provide for their families.

At Stanley, CJR, Chaplin, as well as schools in high-density suburbs of Ascot and Mkoba, very few teachers attended school but threatened to join others who declared incapacitation.

“As teachers, we want to be paid in US dollars rather than the current mode of payment, we cannot afford to pay for accommodation and school fees for our children. Imagine getting 25000rtgs and Nyaradzo funeral deducting $14000 and I’m supposed to survive on $11 000rtgs (about US$50),” said a teacher at Sandara primary school.

ZIMTA national President Richard Gundane

ZIMTA national President Richard Gundane said there was a need to alleviate the livelihoods of educators through salary increments.
“An average teacher currently earns around 25 000rtgs which is unbearable, we hope the government will give the teachers an acceptable salary which surpasses the poverty datum line which is above 600 US dollars,” he said.

Gundane said that there were only going to resume their duties once their demands are met.
“Without a meaningful salary increase, educators have no way of going back to assume their duties,” he said.

Parents who spoke to this publication indicated that they were also concerned about the poor remuneration of teachers which had a negative bearing on the future of their children.


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