Rural teachers cry foul

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A NEW pressure group representing rural teachers, the Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ), says its members have been thrown at the deep end of poverty by government’s recent ban on teachers’ incentives and paid-for extra lessons.

MOSES MATENGA
STAFF REPORTER

RTUZ interim president Obert Masaraure told NewsDay last week that rural teachers generally operated under poor working conditions, adding that the scrapping of the incentives would push them to embark on an “undeclared go slow” due to lack of motivation.

“The effects of inequality in education sector are hard felt by those in rural areas. The rural teaching staff is highly demotivated and the latest development had made their situation worse,” Masaraure said.

Education minister Lazarus Dokora recently announced a ban on teachers’ incentives, civvies days, paid-for extra lessons, arguing that the incentives promoted laziness and the extra cash demands were overburdening the parents.

The incentives were introduced in 2009 to motivate teachers as they were getting meagre salaries.

They, however, became a highly divisive issue as they only applied to a small proportion of schools, mainly those in urban areas.

Masaraure said: “Some of our members, mostly those stationed in resettlement areas, conduct lessons from disused farmhouses, tobacco barns and under trees. Their working conditions are difficult and classes are at times interrupted during the rainy season.

“The incumbent minister aggravated the situation by banning all extra lessons, paid or unpaid. These pupils used to bridge the gap during holidays. The scrapping of incentives has pushed teachers into an undeclared go slow.”

Masaraure added: “RTUZ calls for adoption of a model which incentivises teachers working in rural communities. Guaranteed promotions and other non-monetary rewards on top of a compensatory allowance will make teaching in rural areas attractive. Dokora must stop imposing beerhall-formulated policies; he must reverse all his circulars and consult.”

However, Dokora last week defended his decision in Senate saying: “The incentives caused divisions among teachers from different environs and also brought about tensions between some teachers and their heads as well as between teachers and parents.

“Instead of keeping professional records in classroom, teachers were keeping records of fees and levies paid and some would not allow children into their classrooms if the fees were not paid.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. pple seem to be surprised by Dokora’s policies, this is how Zanu PF has always been : destructive and corrupt in nature. Even the President evicts pple to make way for his game park just before villagers harvest their crop, soon pretty soon a revolution will start

  2. Weldone RTUZ.
    With yo stance on incentives, dont be surprised to get overwhelming response even from the urban teacher.

  3. Remove incentives, remove extra lessons. Remove school fees.Nxa.
    Zanu pfs sick communist policies of sharing and spreading poverty and promoting laziness.
    Very soon they shall introduce the price freeze and baccosi nonsense .
    Back to 2008

  4. Idiotic Dokoras policies do not at all meet the best interest of the child.
    How does removal of incentive or extra lessons benefit the child, the classroom child?
    He wont win his policies in any competent court

  5. Dokora should be reigned in before causing irreparable demage to our once vibrant education system. Teachers together with parents and all other progresive forces should stage massive demomstrations and strikes against this devil. The sooner the better

  6. Ndizvozvo incentiv ngaibviswe,maticha emutwn azwa butter anga ajaira isu vekumachonyonyo kunonesa transprt,tichigara mumaban efodya hataiwana incentiv nokuti tinodzidzisa varombo,ndizvozvo hozaaaa dokora

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