ZIMBABWE – Scores of parents have withheld their children from school during the last phase of reopening schools which were abruptly closed due to the Covid-19 induced lock down.
Teacher’s Unions across the country urged parents to keep their children at home as the “incapacitated” teachers continue to defy government’s orders.
This was confirmed by a statement made by Dr Takavafira Zhou, who is the President of the second largest Teacher’s Union, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).
“Incapacitated teachers have sent an unwavering, unflinching and bold statement across the country that the only way that can entice them back to their work places is their capacitation. We hope gvt will fully comprehend this message and mellow down to a more constructive approach rather than try to intimidiate incapacitated teachers, read part of the statement.
Dr Zhou also said, “Parents are advised to keep their children at home until further notice.”
Monday, 9 November was meant to be the last phase of the reopening of schools as instructed by the ministry of Education which announced a phased plan to reopen school back in September after a more than 5 months halt due to the lock down regulations meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Government ordered that examination classes reopen in September with Cambridge classes opening on 14 September while ZIMSEC classes reopened on the 28th of September.
However, teachers subsequently declared incapacitation citing the poor remuneration and demanding that their salaries be pegged at US$520.
They also demanded that both teachers and students undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing before reopening.
These and other demands made have not been met by government and both parties have been at loggerheads failing to reach a consensus on the issue which has left the education sector almost dysfunctional.
Recently, junior parliamentarians led fellow students petitioning Minister Cain Mathema to reach an agreement with the teachers, arguing the issue was now disadvantaging the students especially those who are expected to be writing their Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations in December.
Government has refused to bow down to these demands and recently announced that there were unemployed teachers who were already in the waiting to replace those who are not reporting for duty.