The number of teachers employed by the government committing suicide is on the increase as the educators fail to make ends meet, Takavafira Zhou, the president of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has said.
The PTUZ leader also said the number of families of teachers breaking-up and going into depression was on the rise as the country’s tutors found it hard to survive on dwindling salaries.
Most teachers have for more than a month not been report for work citing incapacitation while the government has turned a blind eye to their demands.
Zhou cited the death last week of a Zvishavane teacher, Pedzisai Chiresve as an indication of the desperation among the majority of teachers in the country.
“It’s a result of poverty and penury,” Zhou said.
Chiresve, a mathematics teacher at George Chipadze Secondary School in Zvishavane died after falling headlong into a 15 metres deep mining shaft where he was prospecting for gold with fellow teachers at Hall 8 Mine.
“Government must simply pay teachers better salaries. Several teachers have committed suicide because of poverty, several families are breaking up or separating because of poverty,” he said.
“Many more are scavenging to feed their families or engaging in artisanal mining. Those who retire quickly, fast track into death because of stress,” he said.