Students to Suffer the Brunt of Unvaccinated Teachers Ban
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has condemned the government’s move to bar all unvaccinated civil servants from reporting to work.
In an interview with the Deputy Secretary-General for Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), Munyaradzi Masiyiwa said the government’s move is an infringement of teachers’ rights as many of them made their decision due to religious or personal reasons and other such as not being able to access the doses.
Furthermore, according to ARTUZ, there is already a shortage of teachers in schools, “We don’t expect the government to bar teachers from entering into their workplace since exams are around the corner, this will affect the number of invigilators”.
The Government recently published the Statutory Instrument 234 of 2021 which reads,
a) every member of the public Service shall be fully vaccinated, and any member-
(i) not so vaccinated shall be barred from the workplace after the 15th October 2021, and not be paid while he or she is barred.
In addition, the Statutory Instrument 234 of 2021 states that if any member employed in the public service had a reasonable excuse for not being fully vaccinated by 15th October 2021 he or she shall provide the head of the department with a satisfactory reason in order to reach a mutual understanding recorded in writing with a grace period up to 31 December 2021.
A Harare resident told Community Radio Harare (CORAH) that it is not fair to use any means to command civil servants to get vaccinated because every citizen has a right to make his or her own decision in regards to inoculations.
“The government should address salary issues as teachers are going to use this move to excuse themselves from work at the expense of students who have been disturbed for 2 years. They should care more for students as they will be affected negatively”, said one of the parents.
As social distancing is one of the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 prevention protocols, some parents raised concerns over the issue of the overpopulation of students in their classes.
Meanwhile, a call to the government has been made by teacher unions and parents to allow students to make use of the time and benefit from this term after a struggle to reopen schools because of COVID-19 numbers.