International Day of Education: ARTUZ urges depoliticisation of the education sector

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By Staff Reporter

THE Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has urged stakeholders in the education sector to depoliticise the environment for teachers and learners’ safety.

In a statement to commemorating the international day of education Tuesday, ARTUZ said education rights defenders are being victimised by the ruling Zanu PF party under the Teachers 4ED group.

“On the same note our partisan politics is intruding into the education sector with political outfits like “Teachers4ED”  pausing as unions while doing commissariat work for the ruling party and compromising the integrity of the education sector.

“This also comes with victimization of education rights defenders who have been intimidated and threatened by several Zanu PF leaders in their localities. Hence the safety of the teacher and student is not guaranteed under such circumstances.

“Therefore we recommend that we work to depoliticize education and maintain its integrity and protect the learners and teachers,” ARTUZ said.

Two months ago a teacher was arrested and dragged to court on allegations of sending a message in a WhatsApp group decrying poor salaries by the government after she was reported to police by a fellow teacher.

The teachers’ union also said the pass rate in public schools has been declining as teachers are demotivated due to poor salaries.

ARTUZ also urged the government to pay teachers decent salaries.

At the moment teachers are earning about US$150  which is four times less than the standard cost of living.

 “We also urge the government to restore our pre- October 2018 salaries of five hundred and forty dollars which will help the teacher match the cost of living and at least motivate them to work so that learners get quality education.

“Zimsec pass rates have been faring below fifty percent because teachers are demotivated.”