The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) have said they will take the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) to court over its insistence to go ahead with June exams without guaranteeing teachers’ and learners’ safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said his union has resolved to take ZIMSEC to court and its papers will be ready by the end of the week. Said Majongwe:
We are the implementers and executioners in the education sectors, ZIMSEC hasn’t assured us of our safety yet. We do want to proceed to exams but our safety is of concern, are the PPEs, sanitisers and extra furniture ready for schools re-opening.
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We will only get back to work when they satisfy us, ZIMSEC’s job is to facilitate exams, we are the ones who deal with the students so when we say it’s unsafe, we know what we are referring to as we are the ones who know the setup of our classrooms and how social distancing is impossible.
ZIMTA president Richard Gundane also said the union is considering taking legal action against ZIMSEC for forcing teachers to work in an unsafe environment. He said:
We are also considering taking legal action against ZIMSEC because forcing teachers to go back to work in this kind of environment amounts to coercion so we will take the matter to court and let the courts decide the way forward, and if we lose, we will go back for more dialogue because we aren’t risking our lives.
ZIMSEC recently announced that June exams will start on 30 June while and end on 20 July for O’ Level and 23 July for A’ Level pupils.