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Teachers threaten legal action over reopening of schools

by Staff reporter
20 May 2020 at 17:33hrs | Views
TEACHERS have threatened legal action against government over the reopening of schools amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) scourge, saying they were not consulted, the Daily News reports.

Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema this week indicated that government was putting in place adequate measures to protect teachers and learners ahead of the re-opening of schools.

However, outspoken Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe charged that the teachers will not go back to schools as they were not consulted.

"The idea that the government can plan the date of reopening schools without consulting a core constituency such as teachers is such an oversight that would normally end with lawyers for both sides tussling in court over the matter, and I believe you do not want to hazard that," said Majongwe in a letter to the Education ministry dated May 18.

Majongwe accused the government of gamesmanship and playing with the lives of teachers and learners.

"We are not being cowards and we believe there is no need for the ministry and government to exhibit Dutch courage in the face of the pandemic.

"Why then would the same government choose to experiment with learners and teachers when all other categories of interaction remain banned?"

Majongwe further said only a formal engagement between the education ministry and the unions is the only way forward to "avoid second-guessing each other and as well as for the purpose of collectively plotting the way forward for our education in light of the lockdown caused by the coronavirus epidemic."

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday announced that examination classes under Covid-19 safe environments will be re-opening while plans were underway to re-open the entire education sector at a later stage.

Government in late March ordered the closure of schools and colleges as a precaution to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Source - dailynews