Teachers vow to boycott June exam invigilation over poor wages

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Staff Reporter

TEACHERS employed in government secondary schools are plotting to boycott invigilation work during the forthcoming belated June Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations over poor working conditions.

The educators also want government to address fears of exposure to Covid-19, saying examinations could not proceed until government fully complied with a High Court ruling ordering authorities to equip schools with facilities to prevent the spread coronavirus.

The examinations are set to kick off next Tuesday.

The final tests however hang in the balance as teachers unions are urging members to boycott invigilation of the examinations.

“The issue of invigilating June exams is before the courts where both ZimSec and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education had promised to put testing kits, thermometers, sanitisers, PPEs in schools by the 26th of June,” Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said.

“They also promised that they would have cleaned and disinfected schools currently used as quarantine centres by then.

“Surprisingly, the ministry and Zimsec have been belting and bellowing instructions to school heads to scavenge for Covid-19 abatement requirements at a zero budget, an impossible feat indeed.”

Zhou said some school heads have also been demanding payment of school fees for the second term by 30 June.

“To all teachers in Zimbabwe, be advised that the issue of invigilation is before the courts, all communiques made so far have no locus standi and must be disregarded forthwith,” said Zhou.

“Our health, safety and welfare should come first. Anything else must be resisted by all means possible.

“We can’t fast track our demise by dining with death and being reckless with our health, safety and welfare.

“All teachers in Zimbabwe must forthwith disregard unlawful instructions from some school heads threatening teachers with unspecified action should they not report for invigilation.

“Teachers are duly advised to resist all unlawful instructions from school heads, DSIs, PEDs and head office. We have nothing to fear.”

Zhou said teachers were not employed by Zimsec and should disregard an order from the schools examination authority.