No Teacher Can Work Under Unfair Conditions – ARTUZ
No teacher can work under unfair conditions warns the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ). ARTUZ president, Obert Masaraure, has warned the government that the newly recruited 4 000 teachers will soon join their colleagues in the fight for better working conditions and salaries.
Masaraure welcomed the recruitment of more teachers as a positive move but said that it will be useless if teachers are not paid well, because sooner or later they will realise they cannot afford to pay for their own children’s school fees.
"These new teachers will only log in but won’t teach because they are well aware that they have signed up for poverty and are duty-bound to join our struggle," he said.
"Teachers are severely incapacitated earning a gross income of ZWL22 000 to ZWL28 000 including Covid-19 allowances. They cannot afford to be in the classroom under these realities.
"No sane teacher can teach other people’s children when their own are barred from accessing the classroom because of austerity induced poverty."
The recruitment was done a day after schools re-opened for the final term of 2021 after a three-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
ARTUZ and the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) have been leading calls for industrial action due to poor working conditions and low salaries, which the government has constantly declined to improve.
Added Masaraure, "The recruitment of new teachers is welcome but it is inadequate as it doesn’t address the glaring staff shortage in our schools.
"Teachers are leaving the profession in droves because of underpayment, 3 816 teachers are just a drop in the ocean as Zimbabwe needs over 140 000 for effective learning to take place.
"Science subjects and Early Childhood Development (ECD) classes are the most under-staffed. We urge the government to continue recruiting teachers not only to enable adherence but also to enhance access to quality education."