TEACHERS are demanding farms from government in order to boost morale and address their “deplorable” living conditions which comes at a time education standards in the country are once again plummeting.
Speaking at World Teachers’ Day commemorations in Harare recently, Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the majority of teachers never benefited from the land reform programme.
“I tell you if government was to institute a commission of inquiry as to how teachers are surviving, everyone will be shocked as they have all now tested positive to poverty,” he said.
Majongwe claimed some teachers were residing in shacks while others were sharing a room with their grown-up children.
“Give us those farms, we also want them so that we can have decent accommodation not that on retirement after years in the profession one goes to lodge in one room with family,” he said.
Majongwe said teachers had no business in politics. He said there was a misconception that they were also sworn Zanu PF enemies, but were simply demanding a decent living for them to effectively play their role.
He said both Zanu PF and the opposition MDC should concentrate on solving problems facing the country rather than dwell on intra-party squabbles.
PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said the fiscal policy review statement announced by Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa seriously eroded the slight gains civil servants had realised in the delayed April salary review.
In a speech read on his behalf, Zhou said this year’s commemorations came against a backdrop of political and liquidity crises and a Fiscal Review Policy that has introduced a raft of taxes.
“Government has failed to fulfill its non-monetary incentives such as land for building teachers’ houses, shares in mines and non-payment of duty on imported cars,” he said.
“The Primary and Secondary Education ministry has also unilaterally banned incentives and holiday lessons among other unilateral reforms and consequently morale has reached its low ebb.”