The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, non assuming Paul Mavhima made some fun declaration for schools opening calendar. He wrote from his air conditioned offices declaring that schools were going to open as scheduled. This we disputed and today we are vindicated, not that we celebrate the current chaos but because we demand an urgent intervention to save our education sector.
Today learner attendance is as low as 20% in some schools, teachers are not ready for work, being either absent or idle. School administrators are in panic. They do not know how to sustain the schools without enough financial support from both parents and government. Some schools have resorted to barring learners with school fees arrears from accessing school premises. These learners will just go home and never come back as their parents cant raise the school fees.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ is irked by how the current crisis is entrenching inequality. The poor can no longer access education under the neo liberal agenda of the current government. The sons and daughters of government officials are insulated from this crisis as they are enroled at top notch private schools locally or some exotic learning centers globally.
It is against this background that we continue to agitate for the smashing of austerity measures. Government should pay our teachers a living wage and allocate enough resources to our schools. The austerity measures are reversing all the gains we were realising on the social service delivery front. We have to invest in human capital development if we still entertain any hopes of achieving the sustainable development goals.
We call for an urgent education stakeholders meeting to dialogue and find ways of arresting the obtaining crisis.
Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)