|Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou|
… ‘schools opening long overdue’
Teachers’ unions under the Federation of Zimbabwe Education Unions (FOZEU) have called upon government to plan and engage them ahead of the opening of schools for this year.
FOZEU demands several measures to be set right by government before schools can be safe zones for learning.
These include the restoration of teachers’ salaries to US$520, cooperation among all stakeholders within the education system, placement of Covid-19 response plan and initiation of plans to monitor the progress being made in schools in providing safe learning environment.
This comes in the wake of the calls by some parents for the unconditional opening of schools as sentiments grow that pupils risk losing all they have learnt which will make it difficult to catch up with what they have not yet learnt.
With regards to vaccination, FOZEU demands that government must vaccinate teachers on a willing basis.
Every teacher should keep a Covid-19 score card and ensure a smooth flow of learning and limit the spread of the corona virus.
The organisation also demands that all students should be tested first before they are admitted into the school environment.
In an interview with TellZim, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou said any failure to plan properly will see grade seven pupils producing poor results come the 2021 final exam time.
“It is the failure to plan and prepare for opening of schools during pandemic which caused disastrous grade 7 results for 2020 and if not dealt with it will happen again.
“The education sector is one of the key pillars of our society and every society globally and its welfare should be a top priority for the responsible governing authority, teacher incapacitation should be addressed testing of all school staff and students should be prioritized and vaccination of all will teachers and government of Zimbabwe should desist from making unilateral and uninformed decisions as it has become their norm, it is necessary to consider input from all stakeholders,” said Zhou.
On his part, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Orbert Masaraure government has to make sure that schools are opened quickly without further delays.
“Government should urgently address the salary crisis and institute safety measure and go on to open schools so that our learners don’t continue to lose learning time. Schools have to open under the right conditions. The opening is long due,” said Musaraure.