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By Staff Reporter
SCHOOL teachers have indicated that the reopening of schools was not only rushed but also ill conceived as there was nothing done to adequately prepare for resumption of face to face classes.
They said as a pre-requisite, government should have ensured that all teachers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have their welfare issues addressed.
“We learnt about the reopening of schools on social media. Government has felled short on how are teachers prepared to teach? How are learners prepared to learn? How prepared is the government and how prepared are parents who fund the education of their children,” Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure said in an address to Kwekwe Journalists Friday.
“Teachers will only be prepared to teach when government pays them their pre October 2018 salaries. Government last year promised to restore teachers salaries to pre October 2018 by July this year but nothing came out of that,” he said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Ptuz) president Takavafira Zhou said teachers have become objects of ridicule, pity and have lost dignity not only in the eyes of the learners but community in general.
“The $50million earmarked for bringing Covid-19 abatement did not go to school it is still with the government officials. We have tested less than 7% of the 140 000 teachers in order to ensure safety and we need about 65% of the teachers to be vaccinated and that’s not the case. Schools lack running water or supplies of water. There is nothing or very little which shows that there is any preparation for the reopening of schools,” Zhou said.
“It is oxymoronic that universities have remained closed and people think schools are ideal areas to be reopened. The truth must be said that there is no preparation for the reopening of schools. Teachers are incapacitated, they were paid their starvation wages which finished on the same day they received them. How then do you expect teachers to be prepared for the reopening of schools. The employer knows that teachers are getting a raw deal. There are other government workers with less qualifications than teachers and are getting twice or thrice what teachers are getting,” he said.