By Dylan Murambgi
ANOTHER blow has been struck on the educationally starved children following the move by student teachers to join the ongoing strike by teachers.
Speaking to The Humanitarian Post Tuesday, the Council of Student Teachers president ,Walter Muzamani said the current full scale strike by teachers had left students between a rock and a hard place.
“As student teachers we are not on strike, however we are on go slow. Taking note of the fact that we should be supervised by our lecturers.
“So we are just staying in the class updating our record books whilst not teaching because the teaching practice allowance we are getting is being eroded by the unjustified costly fees being charged by our colleges even when we are on Teaching Practice.
“So we are working on our record books because we do not have the energy to speak in front of the class,” he said.
Student teachers presence in schools was the last hope for parents especially in boarding schools where they normally take charge of learners in the absence of qualified teachers.
The developments have further worsened the plight of primary and secondary school pupils returning for the first term of 2022 who were turned away from schools around the country Monday by clerks and security guards after over 90% of teachers and headmasters heeded calls by their unions to strike.
Several teachers unions including the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) had declared incapacitation before opening day, indicating their members can return to work if their salaries were substantially increased.
Currently, a teacher earns around ZW$30 000, which is equivalent to US$150 on the black market while student teachers earn just $20 000.
Monday’s industrial action further plunged the first term into chaos, worsening a crisis in the education sector already hit hard by Covid-19.
Unions reported that 90% of their members had not turned up for work but government remains mum on the situation with not tangible position being taken on the matter.