ZIMBABWE Teachers’ Association (Zimta) on Monday urged government not to rush to reopen schools for examination classes before meeting the minimum standards as required for COVID-19 safety.
A Zimta team successfully appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Primary and Secondary Education today, emphasising the need for a supplementary budget to address teachers’ grievances before the reopening of schools.
Zimta president Richard Gundane told Zim Morning Post that schools would only reopen if government improved amenities in institutions of learning so that they meet health and safety standards in line with the current COVID-19 environment.
“The Zimta team successfully appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio, also engaging them on the issue of reviewing the salaries of teachers,” he said.
Zimta also urged government to recruit more teachers as well as continue paying educators a living wage during this lockdown period.
“The government must introduce COVID -19 related allowances. The government must make it possible for learners and teachers to effectively use remote learning as an alternative during the lockdown period,” Gundani said.
Zimta also emphasised the need for uniformity by goverment across all learning institutions in determining opening dates.
On May 21, speaking before the Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga-led committee on Primary and Secondary Education, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Tumisang Thabela, said they needed another four weeks for logistical purposes and planning so they could open schools in a phased approach.
“We need four more weeks for logistical purposes so we can open schools in phases, firstly, considering the examination classes and we will ensure that there is training of school heads and teachers, including the provision of protective clothing,” she said.