Opposition TPF Demands Govt, Teachers’ Dialogue

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By Mbekezeli Ncube

THE Patriotic Front (TPF) youth wing, the Young Patriots (TYP) has appealed to the government and teacher representative organisations to engage in talks that will see an end to the two weeks strike by teachers in the public sector.

As soon as the government announced that schools would open on 28 September for primary and secondary final examination classes, teachers declared incapacitation and most of them have not reported for duty since opening day.

The education practitioners are insisting that they will not report for duty until the government gives a salary of at least US$500 per month.

However, the government Friday turned a deaf ear by insisting that there will be no pay increases for striking teachers.

But, in a statement, YPF secretary for education and training, Roselyn Luciano said there was a great need for government and teachers to have a dialogue and break the impasse.

“We implore the government and teachers’ unions to have sincere engagements and break the impasse. We urge the government to adopt a balanced approach instead of threatening its workers,” she said.

Luciano also said with the teachers on strike, children are left exposed and might become an easy target to Covid-19 as they barely follow the rules and regulations without being supervised.

“The safety of children in schools remains a major concern. In as much as we want schools reopened, their safety must be guaranteed. We are witnessing a scary situation whereby children are seen playing at schools with no masks on, no social distancing, and no one there to sanitize their hands.

“In the absence of teachers in schools, supervision of the learners by few members of the staff who defied the strike is a mammoth task,” said Luciano.