Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ congratulates Cameroon and its people for becoming the 81st country to sign and commit to safe schools pledge of 2015 and is 22nd in African to do so some among other progressive countries. The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) announced the signing on the 10th of September 2018. This is a sign of commitment from the Cameron authorities to protect education from various forms of attack.
In Zimbabwe, schools have to endure a harsh working environment where politicians especially from the ruling party abuses teachers and learners. They disturb process at schools by politicising and harassing teachers.
School property especially buses, classrooms and grounds are used to mobilize support and meetings but the ruling party pays nothing to schools which are facing serious overhead costs. Teachers and learners are frog marched to rallies and political meetings .Parents are not amused with this perennial challenge where the school buses which were bought through levying parents are being abused to run party business such as attending rallies.
School heads, SDCs and teachers are often subject to ridicule and harassment for purported sabotage in availing the buses and premises at zero cost for political parties. On the other hand, sections of parents usually confront the school administrators over abuse of buses since the owners (parents) have different political affiliation. The best solution to that effect is for political parties to refrain from abusing schools in pursuit of private political interests.
We are so much aware that the parties are allocated funds through government to effectively meet their administration running costs. That allocation is adequate to sustain their operations and promote safe schools zones.
If the Zimbabwean government can embrace this route, corporate governance, ethics and professionalism will be promoted. Separation of powers and conflict of interest is eradicated since schools will be operating independent from political players.
In Zimbabwe we have heard cases of political intimidation of teachers by War veterans and youth officers’ .The conflict arise from the fact that there is stereotype belief that teachers are members of the opposition. Through hidden curriculum teachers are bound to teach current affairs or say the truth when it’s due. Such truth is regarded as disloyalty and rebel by ruling party structure resulting in serious battle lines being drawn.
We urge the government of Zimbabwe to join the 81 countries that have committed themselves to the safe schools declaration. Our neighbor Botswana have already done the same.
Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)