BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
TEACHERS yesterday said they might not be able to resume their duties when schools open for the second term this month end if government fails to capacitate them.
The teachers are also demanding personal protective equipment against COVID-19 in the wake of a sharp rise in cases across the country in the past week.
Government has set June 28 for the opening of the second term, although a spike in COVID-19 cases poses a threat to the schools calendar.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said if teachers were still incapacitated, there would be no opening of schools on June 28.
“Teachers are still earning a slavery wage and if government is not working to improve the teachers’ salaries, there will be no opening of schools,” he said. “Government announced a date, but we are saying no to teachers going back to school before they are capacitated.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said government should immediately review the salaries of educators.
“Government should address the issue of teachers’ salaries. We recently lost a teacher in Karoi due to different challenges with regards to upkeep and well-being,” he said.
Majongwe said government could not expect the teachers to go back to school before addressing their wage challenges.
Teachers have repeatedly threatened to go on strike to force their employer to revise their salaries upwards.
Teachers unions have been calling for government to revert to the pre-October 2018 salaries of between US$520 and US$550 or the local currency equivalent.
Early this month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government acknowledged the need to keep improving salaries of its workers, but was hamstrung by liquidity challenges.
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