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Teachers oppose govt’s decision to reopen schools

by Bustop TV News

By Bustop TV

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has blasted the government for promptly announcing the resumption of schools without adequate preparations.

Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa in a post cabinet media briefing yesterday announced that schools will reopen on the 30th of August 2021 for examination classes, and on the 6th of September 2021 for non-examination classes.

Schools closed doors on the 4th of June 2021 and in a bid to contain a possible covid 19 third wave after the country recorded a sharp rise in the number of covid 19 cases and deaths they had not opened for the second term.

In a statement issued ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure blamed government for arm-bushing parents, teachers as well as learners themselves in the resumption of classes. 

“Yesterday 25 August 2021, the government nicodemously announced that schools will open on 30 August 2021. The announcement was backed by a claim that preparations for schools had been done extensively. The vague claim of preparations does not speak to teacher preparedness to teach, learner preparedness to learn, parents’ preparedness to fund education and schools’ preparedness for safety in face of COVID19,” he said.

Masaraure also highlighted teacher’s ill-preparedness to teach citing incapacitation and demanding the restoration of their salaries to pre-October 2018.

“In 2020 Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima pronounced that by January 2021 government would have produced a roadmap towards restoration of pre-October 2018 salaries for teachers. To date no roadmap has been shared. Government has only resorted to adjusting salaries in line with inflation. The same value of low salaries has been maintained under the guise of increments. Teachers therefore remain severely incapacitated. Teachers can’t afford to pay tuition fees for their own children let alone travel back to work,” he added.

Considering schools’ preparedness to Covid 19, the government announced the releasing of ZWL$ 500 million for safe schools opening. This amount has been cited to be inadequate as it translates to ZW$ 100 per learner which is almost USD 0.75 cents. 

ARTUZ said this is inadequate for funding adherence to Standard Operating Procedures in schools and urged government to deploy enough resources for safe schools opening.

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