THE Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has expressed concern over indications that some teachers who took part in the vacation school for the examination classes across the country this month will not be paid for their services.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe yesterday said there were still grey areas on the issue of holiday lessons for examination classes on whether or not they would be paid.
He said the confusion saw some teachers being paid while others were told they had to teach for free.
“These are some of the unknown, hazy things that were left hanging so you’ll notice that while some schools paid teachers who conducted holiday lessons, others did not,” Majongwe said.
“This confusion has created a lot of chaos because some teachers ended up withdrawing their services midstream.”
Majongwe said it did not make sense that while other government workers such as soldiers and police officers were paid allowances although they are salaried, teachers had to be exempted.
“Our own education officials get some allowances when they go out for hearings and other duties. We also know that soldiers, prison officers, intelligence officers and medical personnel all get these extra payments when they undertake other responsibilities, so why not pay teachers like everyone else?” Majongwe said.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu, however, said it had been made clear that there would be no payment for extra lessons and teachers who were professionals should appreciate that.
He said the fact that teachers received their salaries and allowances even during holidays meant that even if they had to travel to and from school during the holidays, they did not have to burden pupils by making them pay.
“Mostly we forget that teachers in rural areas have been doing this without remuneration, so I think we are brewing a storm unnecessarily,” he said.
“There is also need to consider the parent and say in developing Zimbabwe, is it correct to say before you provide a social service you must be paid?”
In a recent circular to the country’s provincial education directors, Primary and Secondary Education secretary Constance Chigwamba said the ministry had not imposed a blanket ban on extra lessons, but teachers should first seek the parent ministry’s authority to do so.