The National Executive Council (NEC) converged on Saturday the 10th of April 2021 at the national office in Hatfield Harare to deliberate on various burning issues surrounding the education system as well as the issues around teachers’ livelihoods and their working conditions. The meeting came at a time when the government is manifesting its apartheid traits which include state repression, judiciary capture and the looting of state resources leading to the current economic meltdown.
The way in which the government is operating has also led to the collapse of the education system, teacher incapacitation as well as the deterioration of the ordinary Zimbabwean citizenry. The level at which the judiciary system is captured has seen those into trade unionism being incarcerated for no apparent reason like our own ARTUZ gender secretary for Masvingo Cde Sheila Chisirimunhu. ARTUZ also gathered statistics proving that teacher victimization is on the rise particularly for the ARTUZ membership, teachers are being subjected to various forms of victimisation which includes salary cessation and discharges amongst other forms of punishments. Sadly the responsible authorities are not observing standard disciplinary hearing protocols.
On this note we have several cases which include the one of our national secretary for education and research Cde Gerald Tawengwa who has been recommended for discharge from service without going through any disciplinary hearing. ARTUZ condemns the unwillingness of the government to adhere to section 65 of the constitution which provides for collective bargaining.
The house agreed to engage on the following resolutions:
• Escalate pressure on the employer to immediately address the teachers’ plight through conducting on station protest under the banner of #SaveOureducationZW
• Mobilize all the education stakeholders and the general citizens of Zimbabwe to add their voices in the 5 million voices for 5 million learners campaign.
• Convening an urgent meeting with other teachers’ unions affiliated to FOZEU to map a way forward in pressurizing the government to address the teachers’ salary issues as well as other issues to do with their welfare.
•Escalate salary protests to all the educational districts in Zimbabwe.
• Engaging regional and international trade unions and human rights organizations to put pressure on the Zimbabwean government to honour the rule of law and respect for human rights.
•Lobbying parliament to hold the executive accountable on the mandate of providing education.
• Postulate education as a public good through civic education.
• Share real time updates on state of education to counter misinformation from government propaganda machinery.
• Monitor adherence of schools to Standard Operating Procedures in the face of COVID19.
• Build a solid #SaveOurEducationZw campaign alliance in partnership with students Unions and progressive Civic society actors.