By Staff reporter.
Parents were and are still making last minute preparations for their children to go to school, without enough resources but through borrowing and loan applications, they got a last minute disappointment.
Day one of the opening of schools after spending a good fortune during the festive season and Covid-19 lockdown, thousands of day school going children were turned back as teachers failed to report for duty.
Teachers last week gave a strong warning to parents and government that they were not going to report for duty as their salary was not enough and no longer available that they cannot afford transport to school.
Saturday morning headmasters joined the demo and majority of them went only to turn away children because teachers were not available to attend to them.
Parents were left disgruntled after this demonstration by teachers saying they are also struggling to make ends meet and some have also failed to pay for their kids school fees to be allowed to get into class and wanting to negotiate with the headmasters so that they attend classes with others on the first day.
Other parents who spoke to Post On Sunday were looking sorrowful as they wanted to see their children going to school and worried about their future as they are now spending more time on their phones doing online lessons or working for their supper.
The ministry of education has since responded to our questions and said a total of about 4700 kids in Zimbabwe have since dropped out due to pregnancies.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) said their members were incapacitated while Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leader, Obert Masaraure, told this publication that, “we are very clear.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Takavafira Zhou told Post On Sunday that the message has been sent to the government, over 90% of teachers failed to report for work only those who get incentives and those from private schools managed to go and a few for fear of victimization had no option but to sit in.
“There is need for urgent intervention to assist students, they are not getting any benefit from the impasse between government and teachers, education is a fundamental right which government should provide and affordable.
We out-rightly condemn what is happening, even the budget for the ministry of education it’s failing to meet with required Dakar declaration of 22% it also falls far short of the developmental budget.
Parents must sympathize with teachers, and they must not condemn the action of teachers, the struggle by the teachers should also be their struggle, in fact teachers are also parents and they all want a good future for every child,” Zhou said.
Only recently, some schools had started to demand school fees in US dollars while majority of citizens are earning their salaries in Zimbabwe dollars.
Boarding school students left yesterday (Sunday 06 2020) and this news crew hasn’t received information on the situation at boarding schools.
Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro, were fruitless as he was not responding to his mobile.