We'll no longer pay trust school teachers - Govt

HARARE - The cash-strapped government will in January stop paying salaries for teachers employed at trust schools, Zimbabwe’s finance minister has said.

Presenting his 2016 National Budget to a joint sitting of Parliament in the National Assembly on Thursday, Treasury chief Patrick Chinamasa said: “Government will cease to be responsible for paying salaries for teachers employed by trust schools with effect from 1 January 2016."

This measure will realise savings of around $1,65 million per month, he said. 

Government was all along paying salaries and allowances for teachers employed at trust schools.

But Chinamasa said the schools have additional capacity to pay their teachers through the exorbitant fees levied on parents, which in some cases amount to around $3 000 per term per student.

This comes as government has slashed this year’s growth forecast by half to 1,5 percent after a devastating drought and crippling shortages as well as weak commodity prices that have dented earnings from mineral exports.

Chinamasa said the move is going to lead to an annual saving of $19,8 million in the coming fiscal year.

Trust schools are foundation schools supported by a charitable foundation or trust, which appoints governors to the school’s governing body.

A trust school employs its own staff, and manages its own land and assets

In Zimbabwe, trust schools comprise an elite league of schools, among them Arundel, Chisipite Senior, Christian Brothers’ College, Dominican Convent (Bulawayo), Eaglesvale High, Girls College, Hellenic Academy, Hillcrest College, Masiyephambili College, MCC, Peterhouse Boys, Peterhouse Girls, Petra High School, St George’s College, St John’s College, South Eastern College, Watershed College, Westridge High, Falcon College, Gateway High School, Goldridge College, Kyle College and Lomagundi College.

The minister said capacity by trust schools to pay own staff was amply demonstrated by the much higher additional salary payment awards that the trust schools make to their teachers, over and above remuneration by government.

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