TEACHERS are unhappy over the recent suspension of more than 21 headmasters accused of numerous offences, including misuse of school funds, in what the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) alleges is a systematic purge of its members.
by BLESSED MHLANGA
Zimta president Richard Gundane said it appeared as if there was an onslaught against teachers by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which he accused of harassing educators even in front of students and parents.
“We have a total of 3 000 teachers who were removed from the payroll, even though they were present during the head counts that are going on,” he said. “Now there is a wave of headmasters, who are being suspended from work. You are tempted to believe that our members are being targeted.”
Gundane said while Zimta did not condone misuse of school funds by headmasters, his association felt the CSC should not act as the police, but work on capacity-building and human resource training to ensure efficient service delivery.
“Most headmasters are not managers. They are competent in teaching, not financial management. So they need training and capacity-building instead of hounds, who want to sniff them off their jobs,” he said.
In Gokwe, at Rugora Primary School, CSC officers were reported to have embarrassed teachers in front of pupils, allegedly insulting staff over their failure to dress properly.
Gundane said they had received a complaint from their members, adding Zimta was unhappy with the bullying tactics.
Parents who spoke to NewsDay, however, welcomed the action taken by CSC in suspending headmasters accused of maladministration and called for more action.
Rio Tinto School Development Committee secretary Owen Matava said those who helped themselves to school funds should face the music.
“We struggle to pay fees, but you find that some headmasters want to bypass the committees, make their own decisions and steal money from the school. They even influence elections so that they work with people who support their thievery,” he alleged.
Labour minister, Prisca Mupfumira could not be reached for comment yesterday, as her mobile phone went unanswered.