Education Minister threatens to replace striking teachers

Government says that it has put around 10,000 certified but unemployed teachers on standby to replace striking teachers who’ve withdrawn their labor since schools re-opened for examination classes on Monday.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema mentioned measures have been put in place to make use of the majority of qualified, however jobless, teachers

According to the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, more than 60 % of teachers at government schools did not report for duty when the schools re-opened, citing incapacitation caused by inadequate remuneration.

Teachers are demanding not less than 540 U.S. {dollars} monthly (or its equivalent in local currency) for them to return to their stations.

Minister Mathema mentioned the government would not allow a scenario where pupils who had lost treasured time through the COVID-19 lockdown continued to be disenfranchised.

“Negotiations between the government and its workers are ongoing and we hope that they will soon find common ground to enhance the lives of civil servants.

“Some teachers might want to hold the government to ransom by not reporting for duty waiting for the completion of these negotiations,” the minister mentioned.

“What we’re saying is that learners haven’t been going to high school since March and the government is not going to allow a scenario where they continue to be deprived.

“We have at least 10,000 teachers who are unemployed and if the crunch comes, we will be left with no option but to rapidly employ some of these teachers,” Mathema mentioned.

“Education has to go on and we will employ if there is need to,” the minister mentioned.

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