Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa says the percentage of teachers who are reporting for duty is now at 90 percent.
Minister Mutsvangwa said this in senate yesterday during the question and answer session, adding that over 90 percent of teachers are attending lessons in schools across the country which is a marked improvement that is being registered since the resumption of school this year.
She said Government was satisfied with the level of attendance of teachers although it hoped that the figure will rise.
“The percentage of teachers who have returned to school stands at around 90 percent. We wish if it could reach 100 percent. We are quite happy with the attendance,” She said.
Minister Mutsvangwa emphasized that teachers should provide learning lessons without extra charges.
This came following, Harare Metropolitan Senator, Omega Hungwe (Zanu PF) who had complained that some teachers were charging for extra lessons even in rural areas where parents are struggling to make ends meet.
Minister Mutsvangwa responded that Government valued the work of teachers adding that their worth was being appreciated by being treated as one of the frontline workers which were given early Covid-19 vaccination.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that learners are not subjected to extra charge,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government valued education and that was why it came up with a policy on e-learning and resources to ensure that quality education is provided.
However various teachers Unions are demanding pay rise saying the current payments are not sufficient for them to continue reporting for duty.
When the schools were opened, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure claimed that over 90% of teachers had heeded the strike call.
“We have embarked on a nationwide protest under the banner “Save our education.” We are demanding that government resolves the incapacitation of teachers. Our salaries should be restored to pre-October 2018 levels, where we were earning salaries ranging between US$520 and US$550,” he had said.
In Addition Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe also added they wanted to dialogue with the government in order to resolve the matter.
“We support Artuz and what we are calling for is a clear constructive dialogue between government and teachers as soon as possible. We want to believe that there is something positive that can be born if we put our heads together. Let us dialogue and possibly agree on a solution.” He said.
Zimbabwe Rural Teachers Union national co-ordinator Wonder Nyapokoto also said teachers were incapacitated and were legible of reporting for duty once a week or even fail to report for work because of their constrained resources.
“Our stance regarding this issue is that our members are incapacitated and can only go once a day or once a week or fail to report for work at all, considering our limited resources.”
Recently teachers rejected the 75% salary increment offered to all civil servants, saying the adjustment was not a product of collective bargaining.
Last month the Cabinet approved a 75% pay increment offer for civil servants, which will be paid in a staggered format, with, 50%, to be paid in June.
Meanwhile the standoff between government and teachers will negatively impact learners, who last had a proper face-to-face lessons in September last year before going on a long COVID-19-induced break.