The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe has requested the government to allocate funds towards infrastructural development in order to upgrade satellite schools and improve infrastructure in rural areas and marginalized communities.
According to the union’s President, Obert Masaraure, a significant investment is needed to revitalize the education system and ensure that students in remote areas receive the same quality of education as their urban counterparts.
“We are demanding a substantial allocation towards infrastructural development, to upgrade satellite schools and infrastructure in rural schools and other marginalised communities,” Masaraure told NewsDay.
One of the key demands put forth by Masaraure is a daily allocation of at least US$0.50 per child for meals in school.
Masaraure said schools should explore innovative methods of mobilizing additional resources to ensure that all learners have access to nutritious meals.
“We demand at least US$0,50 per child per day in school for meals. Schools can innovatively mobilise additional resources to provide food for all learners,” he said.
Furthermore, in order to boost teacher morale, the union proposed a budget of at least US$1,260 per teacher per month to cover employment costs, stating that adequate financial support for teachers is essential to attract and retain qualified educators.
“To cover employment costs, the Treasury should budget at least US$1 260 per teacher per month, to boost teacher morale,” Masaraure said.
Masaraure added that government should also allocate of a minimum of US$13 per child to provide sanitary pads for girls, in line with the provisions set out in the Education Act.
He said access to sanitary products is crucial for female students to ensure their uninterrupted attendance and ability to focus on their studies.
Expressing support for Masaraure’s call for the government to improve the living standards of teachers, Tapedza Zhou, Secretary-General of the Educators Union of Zimbabwe, said the union expects that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube takes the matter seriously to elevate the overall quality of life for educators.
“The minster should address long forgotten sector specific allowances for Teachers. He should spell out concrete plans for accommodation for teachers, given that the government no longer cares about where rural teachers are residing when they teach, Zhou told NewsDay.
“A substantial amount should be put towards providing clean water for teachers in rural areas.”