Kuwadzana school teachers yesterday poured out their hearts to Information Technology minister Nelson Chamisa, when he toured the schools to assess their living conditions.
The teachers said the government should ensure they benefited from housing schemes and other facilities such as loans to acquire vehicles.
The teachers said they were living like “paupers” in a society they were expected to be role models.
Kuwadzana High School head Flora Ndlovu said
teachers had been reduced to paupers hence the need for government to do its best to help them.
A teacher at the same school, who refused to be named, said: “We are no longer respected in society because of poor salaries and lack of recognition by the government. All we hear is Chamisa is driving this car and now that car!”
Another teacher at Kuwadzana 4 Primary School echoed the same sentiments: “I boarded a car with women going to the market and I happen to teach their children here. When they saw me, they started bragging that they get in a week what a teacher is paid for the whole month, and they all broke into laughter. Up to now I don’t feel happy to be a teacher. We also need loans to buy cars and houses.”
A Kuwadzana High School teacher added: “We don’t want our allowances or salaries being made public. To us, I feel it’s abuse of the highest order. Why subject us to such humiliation, yet salaries and allowances of those in the private sector are not published? I have children who go to school as well and this issue of incentives is not doing us any good. Why not scrap it off and have proper salaries? We cannot afford to send our children to school as well because of these challenges.”
Chamisa, who is also MDC-T Kuwadzana East MP, promised to take the issue up with Parliament and Cabinet to find out how the government could assist teachers.
“It is important to recognise teachers who are thermometers and barometers of society. When I was growing up in Gutu, the only person who used to have a vehicle in that area was a teacher.
“Teachers used to be respected and we should not fail as government to make our teachers happy because they are important in shaping our future,” he said.
“We can’t let (Ian) Smith have a decorated legacy of having satisfied teachers better than us as a government. President Robert Mugabe himself was a teacher and he knows how important it is to be one.”