By Lisa Nyanhongo
GOVERNMENT has given striking school teachers an ultimatum to return to work by February 22 or face dismissal.
The ultimatum is yet another attempt to force teachers back to the classroom following another move by the minister of Primary and Secondary Education Evelyn Ndlovu to suspend all striking teachers.
Government has also offered civil servants a 20% salary increase along with other incentives that were soundly rejected, with teachers sticking to their US$540 salary demand.
In a statement released by the Public Service Commission (PSC) Wednesday, those on strike and their colleagues who are reporting for work but not teaching will be replaced by recent graduates if they do not toe the line.
“All teachers, deputy heads and heads of schools who do not report for duty by February 22 will be deemed to have resigned from the service,” reads the statement.
“Those reporting for duty but not teaching will also be deemed to have resigned.”
“Unemployed, trained teachers, university and college graduates in the sciences, vocational areas and other disciplines who are interested in joining the teaching profession should ensure that they are registered at the nearest district education offices as the recruitment process shall begin soon after the 22nd of February 2022. Such behaviours are not tolerated as it will have a lasting, negative impact on an entire generation,” the statement further reads.
Teachers unions have so far remained adamant staffers will not report for duty until government concedes to their demands.