The president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Dr Takavafira Zhou has said that the once highly respected teaching profession is now under siege.
In his World Teachers’ Day 2019 message, Zhou said that the government was neglecting the profession as it does not take tangible action to address their grievances. He added:
Public perception and respect for teachers has declined, more generally suggesting that families no longer automatically support teacher’s authority over their students in the classroom. All of this points to a profession under siege.
The so-called new dispensation has had meetings with teacher trade union leaders, but mere meetings without concrete positive results is not only empty but blind. The status of teachers has continued to decline and is now in the terminal ward.
He added that the rising inflation, high cost of living, and lack of adequate teaching materials have made the majority (99%) of teachers in schools to mentally resign although they physically remain at their work stations.
He urged authorities to save the profession by taking a raft of measures including paying teachers sustainable remuneration, continually enhancing teachers’ skills, and creating a conducive working environment.