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Teachers ignore strike call

Mazvita Chada and Angeline Musakwa
TEACHERS yesterday reported for work as schools opened for the 2019 first term, despite calls by their unions for them not to report for work until the Government reviews their salaries. Government on Monday said it had a salary increment offer for civil servants to cushion them from the prevailing economic challenges but the offer would be tabled before a National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) soon.

A survey conducted by The Herald yesterday showed that teachers had reported for duty as expected.

Mr Tendai Mahacha, whose child attends Murambinda Primary School, said all teachers reported for duty and lessons resumed as usual.

“My son, who is in Grade 2, brought a list of things needed by the teacher this term. It seemed all teachers from the school were at work,” said Mr Mahacha.

Another parent who took her two children to Visitation Makumbe High School and Murehwa Mission also said teachers were around at the two schools, though she could not immediately confirm if they were teaching.

One teacher at a school in Hurungwe confirmed that they reported for work yesterday.

The teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing protocol, said it was business as usual as all teachers returned to work.

“We were all teaching but at the same time closely monitoring developments from other schools. So far, it’s business as usual,” said the teacher.

Teachers from urban schools in Harare such as Blakistone, Hallingbury, Borrowdale and Houghton Park also reported for work and conducted lessons.

“My child’s teacher has actually given the class homework. He said all teachers from his school were conducting lessons,” said another parent with a child at Houghton Park Primary School.

A survey conducted by Chronicle showed that most teachers in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces reported for duty and it was business as usual at most schools as teachers and pupils lined up for the first term.

Acting Bulawayo provincial education director Mrs Olicah Kaira said teachers in Bulawayo reported for work and everything was normal.

“Teachers in Bulawayo reported for work as expected as well as school children. Our schools, both primary and secondary, are actually inundated with parents looking for places for their children. We’ve also not heard of any schools that turned away pupils for not paying school fees. Everything is in order,” said Mrs Kaira.

Her Matabeleland North counterpart, Mr Jabulani Mpofu, in a telephone interview yesterday, said most schools had opened as normal in his province.

“Most teachers have reported for duty in the province and so far we have not seen any challenges. However, as it is just the opening week it could be a bit too early to give a concrete comment on the status quo,” he said.

Acting Matabeleland South provincial education director Mr Lifias Masukume said teachers in the province also reported for work.

“From the schools we sampled, it was business as usual. No indications that teachers will be taking any industrial action.

“Those who didn’t come are either off sick or on annual leave,” said Mr Masukume.

Source : The Herald

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