Parents Urge Government to Put Order in the Education Sector

Ronald Chigwada

A survey carried out by Community Radio Harare (CORAH) has yielded that a large number of parents are complaining over fees they are sacrificing for their children to learn after a two-month break due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Schools reopened on the 7th of February amidst threats by teachers and schools heads to abscond. The survey revealed that some public schools had no teachers attending their duties.

“As parents, we have played our role by making sure that our kids are going to school. It’s not easy but we have all sacrificed for fees, uniforms, and everything they need. I think the government should now take the matter seriously and capacitate teachers. They need to eat, rent and transport costs. Please meet us halfway”, said a parent.

Furthermore, the government recently triggered criticism from parents and teachers after an announcement that it is going to hire 10 000 teachers before the opening of schools whilst it is failing to fulfill the long-standing demands of the current educators.

“The government should provide better welfare for the currently employed teachers before hiring more educators, this move will worsen the situation in the country. We want our children to learn in schools. Teachers are also parents too, how then do you expect them to survive without getting enough. So the situation is tough”, said Mrs. Katema a parent.

Speaking with some educators from public institutions in Harare after the school’s opening dates announcement, teachers raised concern over high living and transport costs which their salaries can not meet due to inflation.

“Teachers are heavily incapacitated and will not be able to report for duty on 7 February 2022,” said Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union (FOZEU).

According to Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) Acting Secretary-General, Goodwill Taderera confirmed that some teachers were in urgent need of capacitation and transport cushioning from the government before the schools opened.

A ZIMTA member in Matebeleland had noted that the government needed to consider the plight of teachers and to provide reasonable salaries to enhance educator lives.

“We are not ready for schools opening because a review of salary remuneration and conditions of service remains a mammoth task. If only something could be done by the government to alleviate our plight because as l speak now the $75 USD and the salary is not enough.
Government must intervene to protect the dignity of the learners and teachers because as it is we are stressed as we do not know what will happen next”,
said Mr. Bhebhe in Matebeleland.

Teacher unions in Zimbabwe continue urging the state to address their long-standing demands by assuring the restoration of the pre-October 2018 salaries of $540 USD and better welfare.

They have also added that there is much need to invest more in the collapsing education sector to capacitate schools to function well under the COVID-19 pandemic.

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