Zimbabwe: borrow money to go back to work – government tells teachers
The government told teachers they had no excuse not to show up for work and asked financially constrained workers to borrow money so they could report to work.
It comes after teachers recently reported they had no money for bus tickets to their work place after a prolonged Covid-19 lockdown that kept schools closed for more than four month.
Some teachers say they had to turn to loan sharks to borrow bus tickets at exorbitant interest rates.
The permanent secretary of primary and secondary education, Tumisang Thabela, told reporters at the Post Cabinet press conference on Tuesday that there is an almost 30 percent deficit in its enrollment.
“Based on our daily attendance check for the previous week, the number of teachers coming over what we expected was over 70 percent,” Thabela said.
“There are one or two provinces that are generally depressed, so those who are supposed to not have enough money or whatever, we hope by the end of this week they will have borrowed enough money. ‘money to go back to work. “
The teachers also argued that they do not send their own children to work because they only earn $ 20,000 (nearly $ 133 on the black market).
Teachers’ unions have called for industrial action amid continued government resistance to address their grievances.
They have vowed not to perform their duties until the government reinstates their 2018 salaries which stood at US $ 550, a Covid-19 allowance and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their virus security.
Thabela told reporters that she did not know anything about their grievances as it was not within her purview but that of Civil Service Minister Paul Mavima.
Thabela added: “The job belongs to the Civil Service Ministry, we consulted them on when and how to open schools, we are their supervisors, we use them but in terms of engagement I wouldn’t be able to comment on that. “
On a related note, Thabela said exams, which are expected to begin this quarter, could spill over into 2022.