Zimbabwe News

‘It’s a curse’ to be a teacher – Zimbabwe teachers strike as schools reopen after virus shutdown


Harare
– Hundreds of Zimbabwean teachers demanding better pay stayed at home on
Monday, as schools reopened after six months of coronavirus restrictions.

At the Warren Park High School in
a western working-class suburb of Harare, dozens of students waited for their
teachers in vain at an unfinished school building.

Some wore face masks. A 20-litre
bucket of hand sanitiser was placed at the school entrance.

At another government school in
the upper-class Avondale district, no teachers were in sight and primary school
pupils played outside classrooms.

Teachers “did not turn up
for duty”, Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of one of the country’s
largest unions, the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, told AFP.

Majongwe said teachers battle to
“survive” and that they can’t even afford to send their own children
to school.

Teachers’ salaries, he said, have
been heavily eroded by inflation – which stands at over 700% – to an average
equivalent of $40 a month, down from $550 in October 2018.

He said:

Forty dollars is an insult. Teachers have lost their ranking in society. It’s actually an insult to be a teacher. It’s a curse.

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