TEACHERS yesterday pleaded with government to consider postponing the opening of schools for the third term scheduled for next week in the wake of heightened political tensions following last week’s disputed elections.
The educators said the safety of staff and children was not guaranteed after the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change party threatened protests over the election outcome.
Schools are scheduled to open on Monday. In the past, students and teachers have been caught up in violent protests.
The opposition party said its protests were meant to force a fresh election supervised by the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.
Educators Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general, Tapedza Zhou, said the situation in the country was volatile.
“The current situation in the country is dangerously calm, with potential to explode any minute,” Zhou said.
“The safety of teachers and school kids returning to school is not guaranteed. Opening schools is only a gimmick to portray that things as back to normal yet risking the lives of learners and teachers.”
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe leader, Obert Masaraure, said opening schools under the current political environment was reckless.
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“We fear for the safety of both teachers and learners in the current context,” Masaraure said.
“We recommend that the opening of schools be postponed by a week to allow political tensions to diffuse.”
Yesterday, social media was awash with reports that government had deferred schools opening to September 12 in light of the political contestations, but
Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Edgar Moyo, dismissed the reports as false.
“It’s all lies; schools are set to open as scheduled. People are now obsessed with lies and I don’t even know where this culture came from,” he told NewsDay yesterday.