Most teachers in urban schools reported for work today, Tuesday as schools opened for first term amid threats of an impending strike.
Teachers have threatened to down their tools in protest of worsening working conditions due to the prevailing economic situation.
A survey conducted by CITE on Tuesday in schools around Bulawayo showed that most teachers had turned up for work.
However, teachers’ unions say their members will not be reporting for duty on a daily basis until government resolves their grievances.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu said teachers working in urban areas sacrificed to go to work today despite the ongoing situation.
“Some members sacrificed to go to work today, mostly in urban areas to maintain order and to also help the children,” said Ndlovu.
He said most teachers stationed in rural areas were not able to report for duty due to high transport costs the outskirts will not manage to check in for work due to travel expenses.
““Teachers are incapacitated to go to work regularly as some of them travel from the city to the rural areas where they teach,” said Ndlovu.
“An estimate of 70 – 80% teachers failed to go to work because they teach in rural areas, it is unfortunate that these rural schools will be affected by this.”
Progressive Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe Spokesperson, Takavafira Zhou said they held a meeting yesterday between the government and all staff associations representing civil servants to discuss their welfare.
“We have advised members to report to work twice a week for the following two weeks, we hope that the government would have responded within that period,” said Zhou.
“Failure to do so we will embark on a full throttle strike.”
He said the pay given to teachers is not sufficient enough for them to purchase goods in shops.
“The $284 given to teachers does not give them enough buying power as prices of goods have increased,” said Zhou.
Recently, the government announced that it will recruit 3 000 teachers in order to improve the teacher- student ratio in schools.