By Lisa Nyanhongo
GOVERNMENT has claimed that school teachers have started returning to work and expects everyone back by the time its ultimatum forcing them to end their strike lapses on Tuesday next week.
Teachers have refused to get back to work, maintaining they can only do so after government meets their demands of a monthly salary of US$540.
Unions representing most the country’s teachers in public schools last week dismissed a 20% salary hike and a US$100 component in addition to the US$75 Covid-19 allowance they are currently getting.
Government responded by ordering them to return to work by February 22 or risk being fired.
Responding to senators during the Thursday question time, Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Edgar Moyo said teachers have resumed lessons and the turn up was likely by February 22, the day the ultimatum lapses.
MDC Alliance senator Voice Chinake asked wanted to know what government was doing to normalise the situation and in response, Moyo said: “With the moratorium that has been given by government to allow teachers to go back to work until Monday next week, our hope is that by then our situation will have greatly improved perhaps to over 80%.”
“We think that we are slowly improving and their issues have already been attended to and to the full, if not having been exceeded. We have our Provincial Education Directors, District School Inspectors and Schools Inspectors on the ground going around monitoring. However, the handicap that we currently have is transport. The ministry does not have sufficient vehicles to conduct the monitoring,” Moyo said.
According to Moyo, Masvingo so far has the highest attendance with 85,4% with an average being 54,6% and Bulawayo being the least with 41,5%..