By Mbekezeli Ncube
TEACHERS around the country who usually offer services to the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) through marking exams have been urged to avoid that this time around in the interest of the safety.
This was said in a statement weekend by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) President, Takavafira Zhou.
The trade union boss said the education practitioners must value their lives and avoid being victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This comes barely a week after it was reported that some ‘O’ Level invigilators were last week paid with plates of sadza instead of money.
“Our message to the teachers is that God protects those who prioritise their health and safety.
“We wonder why many teachers have turned up for Grade 7 marking, are now turning up for coordination and would turn up for ‘O’ and ‘A’ level marking at a time Covid-19 is running riot in Zimbabwe.
“Use your brains rather than your stomach, life is far more important than 30 pieces of silver. Zimsec does not take care for any markers who test positive and simply fires them and hire other markers.
“Teachers can therefore report for further marking at their own peril. To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” said Zhou.
Teachers are among the lowest paid civil servants in Zimbabwe and have been on strike numerous times to demand the reinstatement of their US dollar wages.
Many teachers also dread being exposed to Covid-19 since their salaries do not match what would be required when one is hospitalised with the pandemic.
Added Zhou, “ZIMSEC must mellow down to a more constructive approach that resonate with Covid-19 pandemic rather than adopting an intransigent and irresponsible approach that does not prioritise health and safety of teachers and closeted by myopic desire to see exams marked at any human cost.”