The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has welcomed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s directive to schools, universities and colleges to close on March 24 amid coronavirus fears.
In a statement on Thursday, PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said:
Yes, it’s now official that schools are closing earlier than had been enunciated by President Mnangagwa. We want to thank teachers for the bold statement that we had taken to close schools on our own if the government had failed to give heed to our professional advice.
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We want to thank the thousands of pupils who were ready to follow our modus operandi. Our gratitude also goes to parents who had made bold steps to withdraw their children with effect from Monday.
We want to thank the government for accepting professional advice, and whoever is ill-informing the President must learn from this ‘Fashoda’ crisis that engagement is better than unilateralism.
To our members, we want to reiterate that vigilance demands that we must always be resilient every time. To all teachers in Zimbabwe, we must always learn to unite as brothers and sisters so that we don’t perish as fools.
We are indeed managers of the world’s greatest asset, viz, children, and must never be treated as if we are of no account, or immune to a health pandemic. The health and safety of teachers and pupils matter.