16 November 2020
It has come to our attention that several school heads have come under immense pressure to submit names of incapacitated teachers. We humbly appeal to District Schools Inspectors (DSIs) not to force school heads to carryout unlawful instructions. Not every instruction from Ministry and Public Service Commission (PSC) is lawful.
The demand that heads should submit names of incapacitated teachers to district offices is one such unlawful instruction. Fundamentally, unions informed both PSC and Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as well as the office of the President about the incapacitation of teachers in Zimbabwe. Those communiques were not responded to and there is nothing wrong in what teachers have done. In some cases even school heads were/are also incapacitated.
It is therefore wrong for both line Ministry and PSC to try to use heads against teachers who followed Public Service Regulations in notifying the employer about their incapacitation, which incapacitation was also induced by PSC through unilateral reduction of teachers’ salaries. It is therefore prudent for ministry officials to collect these statistics for themselves by visiting schools.
Alternatively, they can use pay sheets to compile names of teachers from schools for onward transmission to province. The greatest challenge with the law is that the provider of such lists would be the first respondent and it would be bad for teachers to sue their respective heads who are as incapacitated as them. Hope NAPH and NASH can amplify this message to school heads to disregard the unlawful instruction.
We also remind DSIs that they are not immune to incapacitation and must leave school heads in peace. The employer must be reminded to address the challenge rather than focus on the symptom.
Dr Takavafira M. Zhou (Ptuz President)