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Chamisa wants Zimbabwean teachers to be paid well

by Staff reporter
26 Jan 2022 at 04:51hrs | Views
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nel- son Chamisa has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government to move with speed and open schools as the country's educa- tion sector risked collapse.

Schools closed in December last year following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

They were scheduled to open on January 10, but opening was post- poned indefinitely as government wants more time to assess the situ- ation.

"We know our teachers are poorly paid and are now earning less than US$100 per month when the cost of living is skyrocketing.

"There is need to restore teachers' salaries to pre-October 2018 level of at least US$540 and above that. We need to improve teachers' status and conditions of service," Chamisa said.

"Schools must be opened to al- low children from underprivileged communities to access education.

"Those in private schools opened online classes and they are learning, while those in rural Zimbabwe and peri-urban settings have been dis- advantaged.

"There is need to ensure schools are opened, while COVID-19 pre- cautionary measures are put in place. Our people cannot be in pris- on forever, we need to ensure that life goes on in safe environments," Chamisa told NewsDay.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Amal- gamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) in a joint state- ment yesterday said teachers could no longer afford to send their chil- dren to school.

"Some schools are now demand- ing up to $160 000 in fees when a teacher is earning $20 000.

"How do you reconcile that?" PTUZ secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe asked.

Majongwe said the government should regularise civil servants' ne- gotiating platforms in order to do away with the Apex Council, which he claimed was captured.

"The current negotiating pro- cess has since been overtaken by events, considering the provisions of section 65 of the Constitution.

"The government must create a legal chamber as provided for by the law where unions are allowed to engage government through a properly constituted framework rather than the current nefarious begging platform which doesn't benefit teachers," he said.

He said as the government pre- pared to open schools, it should put in place mechanisms to protect teachers and students from con- tracting COVID-19.

Last week, acting President Con- stantino Chiwenga further de- ferred the opening of schools in or- der to put preventive public health measures in place before the com- mencement of the school calendar.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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