Zim teachers vow not to turn up for duty due to Covid19

By Staff Writer

A teachers group has criticised has vowed that schools will not reopen before adequate guarantees to protect the health and safety of their members is guaranteed.

In a statement the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou dismissed earlier claims by Presidential Spokesperson, George Charamba describing the teachers call as politically motivated.

We have also come under vitriolic attack from George Charamba and a Jamanda over salary discrepancies, but we have no apology over their warped explanation that in essence is a security threat,” he said.

Zhou reiterated the long held view that teachers are ready to reopen schools provided that their safety, health and welfare are guaranteed.

He said the government has not done anything to procure testing kits, thermometers, sanitizers and other PPEs for more than 80 percent of the 10 000 schools, and the 20 percent has acquired the Covid 19 abatement equipment on their own accord.

“To imagine that government can test 136 000 teachers, 50 000 ancillary staff and millions of students in less than two weeks is to expect an impossible miracle.

“All the same to allow the congregation of thousands of students and teachers from various areas (some of which are neighbouring countries heavily invested with Covid19 pandemic) without any testing is madness of the worst order and unacceptable,” he said.

He said reopening the schools will be untimely considering that the country is experiencing a quantum leap in the number of Covid19 infections cases.

The PTUZ president said while teachers would be receiving a salary ranging from $4 000 t0 $5 000 their soldiers counterparts will be taking home salaries ranging from $10 000 to $18 000, permanent secretaries $50 000 and University lecturers will be taking home $66 000.

“We don’t begrudge other sectors’ salaries but reiterate that it is dangerous to rob Peter in order to reward John. Government is therefore advised to mellow down to a more constructive approach permeable to reason and facts,” he said.

Our clarion call is “No guarantee to safety, health and welfare of teachers and pupils, no opening of schools on 28 July 2020,” he added.

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