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  • Image of a school classroom in Zimbabwe, 2020.

    Image of a school classroom in Zimbabwe, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @UNICEFZIMBABWE

Published 30 September 2020
Opinion

The Progressive Teachers' Union announced that its members will not show up at their workplaces as they reject the low salaries they receive.

The administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that it has put around 10,000 qualified but unemployed teachers on standby to replace striking teachers who have withdrawn their labor since schools re-opened for examination classes on Monday.

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Earlier this week, Raymond Majongwe, the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe secretary, announced that teachers will not show up at their workplaces as they reject the low salaries they receive.

This African country is going through a severe economic crisis in which hyperinflation has depreciated the real value of teacher's wages from US$550 in October 2018 to about US$40 this month.

“Forty dollars is an insult. Teachers have lost their ranking in society. It’s actually an insult to be a teacher. It's a curse,” Majongwe said, as local outlet Olomoinfo reported.

Nevertheless, Education Minister Cain Mathema said measures have been put in place to employ the bulk of qualified, but jobless, teachers.

He also pointed out that the Mnangagwa administration would not allow a situation where pupils who had lost precious time during the COVID-19 lockdown continued to be disenfranchised.

"Negotiations between government and its workers are ongoing and we hope that they will soon find common ground to improve 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 Education minister said.

"We have at least 10,000 teachers who are unemployed and if the crunch comes, we will be left with no option but to quickly employ some of those teachers," he added.

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