Government has set in motion plans to give teachers free education for at least three of their children.

This is part of measures to alleviate complaints of poor remuneration.

This move is contained in a report by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary education which focused on welfare of teachers.

Presenting the report, Priscilla Mushonga, who chaired the committee said the Ministry of Finance has accepted the idea.

“As part of conditions of teachers, the Public Service Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, should introduce a tuition fee waiver for up to three children attending public schools per teacher by October 2021.

“We are very excited about this particular issue because when we started having discussions with the Minister of Public Service, their initial response was to do it for everyone and not just teachers”.

“I must however say by the time we went to meet Minister Ncube, it was one of the recommendations that he immediately liked and said he would try and factor it into the budget,” she said.

Mushonga added that those that work for ZESA get free electricity and those that are in the medical field when they are going to hospitals, they get a waiver.

“So, I think it is unfair for teachers to teach other children yet their own children will not be able to go to school.

“We feel this is something that is doable and I think it will show the political will and the sensitivity that Government is having around teachers,” she added.

Eroded Salaries
Teachers have been complaining and demonstrating against poor salaries for years now with no solution.

Government has been emphatic that it cannot give them their stated salaries.

The lowest paid teacher earns a monthly salary of 19 975 Zimbabwe dollars (US$245) and the highest US$281.

Pay for government workers has been eroded over the past 3 years from a minimum of $480, as Zimbabwe has switched from using the US dollar as its main currency to using the local currency.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has also decried recent pay hikes alleging them to be one sided affairs which are shrouded in secrecy. -OpenCouncilHre