By Lerato Ndlovu.
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) have maintained it’s stance that teachers will not report for duty until government addresses their concerns.
The teachers are demanding that their salaries be reviewed and pegged at the prevailing interbank rate as their current remunerations are being eroded by inflation.
In a statement issued today ARTUZ stated that government was demotivating teachers by making no effort for their grievances.
“As, ARTUZ we have noted that the government is not taking our salary issue with seriousness, therefore we will register our discontent to the employer through peaceful street protests, our constitutional right as workers.
“The employer and all education stakeholders must know that, no learning is taking place in schools because teachers are highly demotivated by peanut salaries, the incapacitation of our members and the rest of teachers cannot be solved by draconian labour laws that force them to report for duty within 14 days.”
According to ARTUZ several schools were submitting falsified report to the Education ministry claiming teachers were reporting for work.
“The propaganda propelled by school administrators of sending wrong statistics of teachers attendances to district education offices and public service commission, pretending as if learning is taking place in schools is a sign of cruelty to innocent learners, this must stop immediately.
“Parents sacrifice paying school fees in full for their kids in these harsh economic times, only to be let down by a government that is deliberately failing to provide it’s mandated service like education.
“This act of wickedness to learners by the responsible government ministries need an urgent approach from all progressive Zimbabweans who have kids in schools to force the employer to pay a living wage to teachers,” reads the statement.
ARTUZ went on to call for unity among the parents and teachers in questioning the Transitional Stabilisation Programme Reforms Agenda and addressing educational needs.
“It is time both teachers and parents unite, and question Professor Mthuli Ncube’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme Reforms Agenda, on page 270, where he lied to the citizens of Zimbabwe that his policy will prioritize the education sector in tandem with the Education Sector Strategic Plan to 2020.
“Sustainable Development Goal number 4 and also in line with the aspirations of the African Union on education, wherein focus is on harnessing the demographic dividend, addressing educational needs of marginalized groups ensuring that no one is left behind, it said.
The 2020 budgetary meagre allocation for education is clear testimony that there is no capital investment for education, ZWL $8,5 billion is not enough to cater for 140 000+ teachers, build and develop the dilapidated schools around the country.