AT LEAST 20 teachers are set to leave for China and Dubai tomorrow to buy goods for resale to supplement their meagre salaries, NewsDay has learnt.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu confirmed the development yesterday saying the trip has been organised by his organisation.
Ndlovu said the trips were open for well–resourced teachers with the means to pay transport costs and raise enough cash to buy goods for resale.
“These are teachers who have personal resources and they are embarking on this trip to get goods for resale,” Ndlovu said.
It is understood that the round trip costs $1 095, and beneficiaries were also required to pay an additional $110 non-refundable commitment fee.
Ndlovu said the trips had been scheduled during school holidays so that they did not interfere with the teaching programmes.
The last trip, which was in December 2013, saw 43 teachers also going to China and Dubai.
“These trips are motivated by a desire for economic emancipation,” Ndlovu said.
“The teachers also need to make ends meet because of our suppressed salary levels. So we encourage our able teachers to go.”
Teachers earn a basic salary of between $300 and $480 per month, while, according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the food basket for an average family of five now costs $540 a month.
Teacher organisations are currently at loggerheads with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry over the ban on extra lessons and incentives, through which the hard-pressed teachers have been augmenting their salaries.
In a circular dated February 17 2014 sent to all Zimta structures, Ndlovu said: “This time we will visit Guangzhou and Dubai — the business and cultural hub of the Middle East and Persian Gulf region. The two uniquely different cities and continents will be visited in one trip.”