Teachers declare incapacitation as schools reopen

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union in Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has informed the government that’s its members will not be reporting for duty due to incapacitation at a time when schools are set to reopen this month.

Classes for Cambridge examination candidates resumed on September 14 while those sitting for the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) examinations will resume classes on September 28.  

Zimsec examinations are expected to start on December 1.

ARTUZ in a letter addressed to the Public Services Commission, noted their members have been affected by the economic challenges which have been worsened by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

Teachers have been at loggerheads with the government demanding at least US$520 or its equivalent in local currency.

In March, President Emmerson Mnangagwa ordered the closure of schools in a bid to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

In their missive, ARTUZ stated that the government should review teacher salaries.

“This letter serves to inform you that ARTUZ members we are incapacitated to report back for duty and survive in this harsh economic climate heightened by Covid-19,” the letter read. 

“Exam classes are supposed to commence on September 28. We can no longer afford transport to our duty stations, to buy basic foodstuffs, pay rentals, water and electricity bills and other essential services now priced in USD.” 

The teachers’ union highlighted that the salaries can barely take them through a week. 

“We request an urgent review of our salaries in United States Dollars or local currency equivalent at the prevailing interbank rate (with a monthly review) from the government. We urge the employer to come up with an urgent solution to avert our situation,” the letter read. 

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