…we will not be silenced
The mooted Teaching Profession Council Bill which would give birth to the Teaching Profession Council (TPC) has been resisted by the Progressive Teachers’ Union (PTUZ) which sees the move a dangerous experiment with educators.
PTUZ has challenged the composition of the TPC saying the government was trying hard to make sure it controlled teachers by trampling on their rights and freedoms.
The Bill proposes that the profession be regulated by an 18-member council, consisting of one representative from the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ), Association of Trust Schools, Public Service Commission (PSC), Correspondence and Independent Colleges, two members recommended by the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry, from the Department of Teacher Education and Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education, five registered teachers through an elected criteria set by council and five registered teachers from teachers’ unions, among others.
If established, the TPC would require teachers to seek an annually renewable teaching practicing certificate which the council can either approve or reject on its discretion.
PTUZ president Dr Takavafira Zhou said they did not have anything against the TPC but they wanted it to be run by teachers themselves without outside interference.
“The TPC should be run by teachers and the teachers should elect their own chairperson. We do not want a situation where the TPC will be used to abuse teachers. We are also against the issue of annual renewal of teaching certificates but we are OK if it is done after five years. How can we have a TPC without teachers?
“It should be a teacher’s council by teachers. When journalists want to have their own union, they do not go to the Ministry of Information to be told how to run the union. This is what we want as teachers.
“The government is trying to silence teachers that if they demand better working conditions and embark of industrial action, they would have their certificates revoked,” said Zhou.
PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said the government must not appear as the prime movers of the initiative as they are the ones who came up with the idea back in 2015.
“In 2015, the PTUZ extensively interrogated the TPC issue but the government ignored our submissions and suddenly they want to appear as the prime movers of this initiative. The TPC must remain an autonomous self-regulating entity.
“Our position is very clear, government must be miles away from the TPC. Teachers should lead the way without any interference,” Majongwe posted on Twitter.