Teachers’ Unions Welcome New Minister
Teacher’s unions have welcomed the newly appointed Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and expressed hope that the minister will change the education sector for the better.
On Wednesday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema from his Cabinet with Evelyn Ndlovu, who was Minister of State in Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s office, retaining Mathema as a Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the President. Mathema has been battling COVID-19-related complications after being infected while touring schools to assess the safety of reopening schools.
His reign as the Primary and Secondary Education minister was tainted by constant fights with teachers’ unions over poor salaries and poor working conditions.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said teachers hoped that the new Education minister would "not walk along the destructive commandist path that Mathema was navigating."
"There are serious challenges facing the ministry, chief among them the starvation wages of teachers and escalating COVID-19 cases at schools as well as low morale."
He also said he hoped the new minister would, unlike Mathema, put education stakeholders first in matters that concern education.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZimTA) acting national general-secretary Goodwill Taderera said teachers hoped that Mnangagwa replaced Mathema with the goal to improve the education sector.
"The outgoing Mathema had not done anything significant for teachers. We will wait and see, although we think there are many other renowned people in the education sector who would have taken up such posts," he said.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union president Obert Masaraure chipped:
"The main issue is about the policy direction that Ndlovu will take, and we hope she has listening skills," he said.
Zimbabwe Rural Teachers Union national co-ordinator Wonder Nyapokoto said the educators expected Ndlovu to adopt an open-door policy and to appreciate the challenges being faced by teachers, which include incapacitation, challengers over syllabus coverage and examinations, infrastructural inadequacies and the COVID-19 monster in schools.
I jave always told people minister without portfolio is like appointing someone to be a Headmaster without a school it happens at the very top kurova mari in simple term is a ghost worker of a minister
— Noah Mwendas (@NoahMwendas) September 29, 2021
Welcome to @MoPSEZim Hon Evelyn Ndlovu, a Ministry with the biggest number of civil servants, and the highest number of genuine complains. We have CALAs to discuss with you, as well as invigilation allowances and poor salaries. Hit the ground running pic.twitter.com/6Gdrvn03tx
— PTUZ_Official (@ProgressiveOf) September 29, 2021
Isn’t it curious for the discerning observer that there is no official profile of Dr. Evelyn Ndlovu, the new Min of @MoPSEZim?
There is only a mention that she was an MP (Prop), one time an SME Min Perm Sec & later a Min of State in the VP’s Office.
Is she so inconsequential?
— Shingai Ndoro (@shingaiRndoro) September 30, 2021
We welcome the new Minister of Education Evelyn Ndlovu. We hope she will bring in new ideas to the ministry for the benefit of both learner's and teachers.
We hope she will be accommodative to dialogue with stakeholders. pic.twitter.com/xpf9YXlvuW
— Young Teachers of Zimbabwe (@teachers_young) September 29, 2021