Full Text: Rural Teachers Demand US$500 Monthly Salaries

Effects of the economic meltdown in Mat North

22 May 2019

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced, teachers are finally smelling the coffee. They say patience pays I doubt if that was meant for Zimbabwean teachers.

The struggle is real it doesn’t get any better, it’s a sorry sight to see teachers being mocked in the society and by people they are imparting knowledge to. Teachers are earning a mere 80 USD rated in RTGS bond.

Their May salary was just a mockery to the people in the noble profession. Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, demands a minimum of US$ 500 per month. Teachers have been reduced to nothing in society.

One is now not even free to mention that they are educators as all talks embarrass and ridicule them to nothing.

Teachers are poverty stricken and are not motivated in any way to deliver in class. Hunger is also taking its toll as the prices of basic commodities is skyrocketing.

Teachers cannot cope with the economic meltdown some say ‘Broke soon after pay’ thus a sad statement to be uttered by professionals.

Some teachers are resigning as working somehow is not bringing any gain, some envy the blue collar jobs or to go to the streets and be money changers or simple become miners so as to put food on the table for their families.

Going out is now unheard of as things are expensive not that it’s enough, they are pegged in USD which teachers don’t earn.

Transport has been a problem since the increase of fuel and it is going to be even worse since a litre is now going for 4.90 RTGS petrol and 4.80 RTGS for diesel.

The Zupco buses are highly unreliable and they tend to go in circles, one reaches their destination super tired and drained. Teachers now opt to use public transport as they cannot afford to fuel their personal cars.

The little things that kept teachers busy researching and going the extra mile for their learners have been taken away.

The precious data is now a luxury that teachers are failing to afford yet it was meant to be the basic thing afforded by everyone. It’s now strictly business.

One wonders how teachers can distress looking at the problems that are surrounding the educators.

Non-monetary incentives to be availed for example stands and Government must honour our 2012 agreement of paying us in United States Dollars.

Most teachers are struggling to own decent accommodation. All they work for is the food of which now has exorbitant prices. They eat to survive only. The struggle is real. No matter how hard the situation is giving up is not an option.

Life may challenge us as teachers from the worst case ever, but let’s not be afraid of fighting for the better. Let’s fight for a living wage in USD and restore our dignity as Teachers.

Mercy P Mpata

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