School teachers in Zimbabwe have demanded that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF Government pays them a monthly allowance of US$520 or they risk teaching at educational institutions where they cannot afford to send even their own children.
The country’s teachers have traditionally bemoaned the meagre salaries they have been getting from their employer and have also downed their tools on a number of occasions to express their dissent.
According to the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), it was highly likely that the country’s educators are going to be deployed to stations where they cannot afford to send their own children to.
This comes at a time when most schools are demanding exorbitant fees ahead of the impending phasal reopening of the country’s schools.
On March 24 this year, Zimbabwean schools were prematurely closed- barely four days after the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic in the country.
But as schools re-open- six months after the coronavirus induced sabbatical- the teachers are wary of the fees being demanded by some educational institutions ahead of the imminent re-opening.
The PTUZ implored on Mnangagwa and his Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to consider their plight and start paying them salaries in foreign currency with the lowest paid teacher getting US$520.
“Looks like teachers will be teaching at schools where they can’t afford to send (their) children. (Mnangagwa and Ncube), this does not make sense. Pay us our dues, we want our USD520 now,” said the PTUZ in a tweet accompanied by the new fees structure for George Silundika High School which pegged it’s Term 3 fees at over $26 000.
On the other hand, parents have raised alarm over the impending re-opening, arguing that the country’s schools were not adequately equipped to ensure that their children were not being exposed to the risk of contracting coronavirus.