1 000 teachers fired, claims Zimta
ABOUT 1 000 qualified teachers have reportedly lost their jobs under the government’s staff audit to flush out ghost workers, NewsDay reported.
In a press statement yesterday, one of the country’s leading teachers’ unions, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) confirmed the job losses, saying the matter was likely to take centre stage at its 34th annual conference in Harare this weekend.
“Sadly as Zimta holds its 34th annual conference, confusion hangs in the air for some teachers as a proven number of at least 1 000 professional teachers have lost their jobs due to the on-going government audit,” Zimta claimed.
“We are in the process of establishing the genuine reasons that have led to their loss of employment.”
The association said other contentious issues on its agenda included poor salaries and working conditions, the absence of collective bargaining in the civil service, unfulfilled promises on non-monetary benefits, and the collapse of trade unionism.
The conference also aims to debate issues of access to quality education for Zimbabweans, as well as the impact of privatisation and commercialisation of education.
Zimta said privatisation of schools should be condemned as it promoted the interests of children from elite families at the expense of the underprivileged.
“When private players begin to identify students as economic units, a public good such as quality education becomes a preserve of the rich; hence we condemn all forms of privatisation and commercialisation.”
Zimta threatened to take legal action against government’s decision to withdraw salaries for teachers found missing at the workstations by government auditors.
“At the same time, we are concerned about the number of teachers facing disciplinary charges as a result of inflicting corporal punishment. We call for child rearing and disciplinary methods that are non-violvent and respectful of children’s physical and psychological integrity,” Zimta said.
Both Education minister Lazarus Dokora and Public Service minister Priscah Mupfumira could not be reached for comment yesterday. newsday
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