MEMBERS of the Unemployed Teachers’ Association (UTA) have organised a protest march in Harare today to draw government’s attention to their plight.
Association chairperson, Takemore Mhlanga said they would present a petition to the minister of State for Presidential Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, highlighting their challenges.
BY KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA
“We are ready to march to the office of the responsible minister. We have been waiting for a long time thinking that the government would do something for us, but it seems like nothing is being done. We do not really care about the numbers all we want to do is pass on the message,” Mhlanga said.
“As unemployed teachers, who have been churned out, to lie idle since 2015, we have realised that the major stakeholder of our plight is the government whose lack of will has contributed to the disgruntled of unemployed teachers.”
The jobless teachers said the education system was being compromised by giving a lot of workload to current teachers whose ratio to pupils is up to 1:70 instead of 1:20.
UTA said many areas do not have schools, resulting in parents sending their children to far away schools.
“We are tired of being seen as the reserve team, which is used to threaten teachers not to strike. I am sure you heard that when the teachers wanted to strike they were told that if they strike they will be fired, and will be unemployed just like what happened with the nurses,” Mhlanga said
The protestors said they will convene at the Africa Unity Square in the morning and later hand over the petition to Mumbengegwi.
Thousands of graduate teachers are believed to be out of employment as government after government froze the recruitment exercise a few years ago citing an unsustainable wage bill.