The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ launched a massive campaign dubbed Black Friday #SaveOurEducationZW countrywide on Friday 11 December. The campaign was focused on mourning the collapse and demise of our education system. It was also meant to plant trees as a symbol of a fight to resuscitate a sustainable education system.

A total of 1,633 protestors clad in black apparel comprised of ARTUZ members, teachers not affiliated to ARTUZ, and parents who participated in the campaign in various districts countrywide. Teachers and parents submitted over 46 petitions to different education districts demanding the following:

1. The ongoing apartheid examinations must be stopped. Learners from poor backgrounds are being forced to write examinations they never prepared for. This travesty of justice must be stopped. Exams must be re-written in 2021 after adequate preparations.
2. Schools should be closed until COVID19 safety measures have been instituted. Schools are failing to adhere to COVID19 regulations because of underfunding. The blind mass transmission of the coronavirus in schools must be stopped!
3. Teacher salaries should be restored to USD 520. The incapacitation crisis remains unresolved. The government should urgently restore the value of teacher salaries so that our teachers fully return to duty.

ARTUZ wish to reduce desertification and global warming through preserving the environment and playing a positive role in climate change. A total of 1426 trees were planted on Friday. The trees will continuously be nurtured as they symbolize a sustainable education system. 

As Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ we would like to thank everyone who took part in the campaign, teachers, parents individuals, organizations and online users for the unconditional solidarity. 
The fight for teachers freedom is on.

As we wrap up year 2020 the #SaveOurEducationZW campaign is the beginning of a sustained struggle against teacher oppression,  poor quality and discriminatory education system. Year 2021 schools will not open until our needs are respectfully and fairly addressed. More fighting tactics are in place to face an arrogant employer.

Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)