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Bulawayo Minister calls on teachers to shun planned demonstration

by Staff reporter
03 Feb 2020 at 05:29hrs | Views
BULAWAYO Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube yesterday urged teachers to shun today's planned demonstrations against purported fees increases and poor remuneration among other pertinent issues affecting them, saying such actions contributed to poor academic performance in some local schools.  

Minister Ncube's comments follow social media reports that schools in Bulawayo will stage a demonstration today as part of a follow up to the recent incident where a Science teacher at Njube High School, Mr Brian Mutsiba, allegedly mobilised and incited 153 Form One, Form Three and Form Six pupils to demonstrate against purported "fees increase and poor teachers" remuneration among other issues.  

Mr Mutsiba has been on the run since last month's protests which, according to latest information, were stage managed.

"As Bulawayo metropolitan province, we need the highest pass rate in our schools. I therefore want to appeal to the parents, teachers and the entire local community to desist from abusing pupils to further their personal agendas through engaging them in illegal demonstrations. In fact, let us support our children in moulding their future so they become good leaders of tomorrow," she said.

"Children should focus on their education rather than these illegal demonstrations which at the end of the day affect their studies and contribute to a decline in terms of pass rates in our schools."

Minister Ncube urged parents through their school development committees to consult widely before implementing some of the decisions that end up affecting the education of their children. "Again, I also urge parents to first consult widely before implementing some of these decisions, which end up creating problems in our schools," she said.

Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela yesterday said she was yet to receive a formal report from their Bulawayo offices in relation to the planned demonstrations.

"We don't rely on social media reports and if anything of that nature is likely to happen, our officials in Bulawayo would have contacted us," she said.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was not aware of the planned demonstrations.

Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo recently warned teachers against sacrificing learners to advance their personal interests, saying there were many lawful channels to air their grievances without involving the learners. He said he was convinced that some anti-Government elements wanted to use minors as a shield to cause anarchy in the city. Moyo urged parents to discourage their children from participating in illegal protests.

Mr Mutsiba, who is facing charges of mobilising children to partake in action outside the school's authority and that of their parents, is still on the run. He has been absent from work for several weeks without justified reason.

In terms of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2000, if someone is absent from work for a continuous period of 14 days without good cause or without permission, his salary is supposed to be stopped and he or she would then be charged for absenteeism.

Source - chronicle