'Our children must not pay fees'

HARARE - Teachers’ unions are lobbying the government to exempt teachers’ children from paying school fees at institutions they work.

This comes as teachers are fretting over the current economic challenges with prices of basic commodities increasing at an alarming pace while their salaries remain stagnant.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said due to the current economic crisis, teachers must be exempted from paying fees for their children.

“PTUZ urges the government to improve salaries and conditions of service for teachers and seriously consider non-payment of school fees by teachers for a service they offer.

“Those working at Zesa do not pay for electricity, yet teachers pay for a service they offer and are paid peanuts,” Zhou said in a statement.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) secretary-general, Tapson Sibanda said they have engaged the government on this issue but they haven’t yielded any positive result.

“We have been pushing for the same also. It is our view that teachers’ children should not pay fees.

“The government hasn’t given in to that but it’s our resolve that we will continue lobbying the government to consider it. This is not an alien view as it is practised in other industries and other private institutions,” Sibanda said.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) secretary-general Robson Chere said teachers are earning below the poverty datum line and they cannot afford to pay school fees.

“We have for a long time been lobbying for non-monetary incentive and school fees payment waiver is one of the non-monetary incentives which can be provided to our teachers who are earning way below the poverty datum line.”

Efforts to get comment from permanent secretary of Primary and Secondary Education ministry Sylvia Utete-Masango were fruitless.

The country’s teachers earn around $400 per month, which ranks them among the lowest paid civil servants in the country.

The remuneration is well below the monthly consumer basket of about $598 for a five-member family, according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.

In March, dozens of placard-waving teachers and their union leaders stormed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s offices and handed over a petition demanding a salary increment, among various other demands.

Mnangagwa’s government has had multiple industrial actions staged by restive civil servants who include teachers, nurses and doctors, over improved working conditions and better pay.

On the eve of Independence Day this year, government fired nurses who had gone on strike pressing for improved allowances and salaries.

Comments (3)

iyoyo haisi solution all teachers n all loving peaceful zimbabweans must shut down zimbabwe until the will of the pple prevail

g40 - 5 September 2018

Mateachers magara chidofo chakakuwandirai.....dambudzi kumoma musoro hanzi toziwa zvese teachers you do not know how economies work thats why you are the bunch of semi iliterate group.Zim is not a private company .you want to create another confussion on how the economy should be run.....Tbvirei po kana maneta nebasa regedzai marivher wanoda busa wazere .

dofo - 5 September 2018

So how are we going to develop schools if more than 40 000 teachers are not going to pay fees for their children Mind you, it is not only teachers who work for the government so if everyone in government is exempted how then are we going to develop the country. Teachers like all the other civil servants are salaried so they must pay school fees for their children. I f people who are unemployed are being forced to pay school fees by the same teacher so what is so special about teachers. All parents have the obligation to pay fees for their children so pamber nekubhadhara maschool fees mateacher.

Unknown - 7 September 2018

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.