By Costa Nkomo
FIREBRAND union leader Raymond Majongwe says parents who continue sending their children to schools with no teachers should be prepared to bear the consequences of the behaviour of their unattended kids.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general’s warning comes after revelations some learners were engaging in sexual and drug activities with videos and still images of the detestable acts going viral on social media.
Zimbabwe schools opened for examination classes last week after an unprecedented six months closure due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Teachers have withheld their services while pressing for the restoration of their minimum US$520 monthly wages they were last paid when government ordered an unpopular return to the local currency.
But in a telephone interview with NewZimbabwe.com Thursday, Majongwe warned parents to exercise caution when sending their children to school as there were implications to it.
“They (parents) are going to be looking after grandchildren very soon,” Majongwe said.
“They are going to be looking after sick people very soon. They are also going to be looking after kids they will not able to control in future.”
The PTUZ chief said government should take responsibility for all the mess currently going on in schools as idle pupils go wild in the absence of educators.
“It is the government that is responsible. They have not paid us. They are refusing to engage us. They are also allowing kids to do so,” Majongwe said.
“We can’t liberalise rules and regulations within our schools. We can’t ultimately say kids can do what they want if they fall pregnant, they come to school, they are actually doing what they have been asked to do.
“These kids have been told, ‘if you fall pregnant, you will remain in class’.
“So, they better tear each other and have sex in front of everybody because they have been given the green light.”
The warning by Majongwe comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday told striking teachers they will not be paid.
Mnangagwa was speaking in Manicaland during his tour to the newly settled area, Westend Farm, in Chimanimani, for the victims of Cyclone Idai.
“Let me assure all of you that government will never be held to ransom by the teachers.
“By failing to report for duty, they think they will push us to do what they want. No, we are very principled on that.
“However, we are happy that some have gone back to work.
“We will apply the principle that those who work will get paid. Those who are at home are not considered to be at work,” Mnangagwa said.