Over eight teachers’ unions on Friday filed an urgent High Court application seeking to compel the Government to postpone the sitting of June examinations until the safety of educators and learners has been guaranteed amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The teachers’ unions want the court to compel the State to fumigate all examination centres and meet WHO prescribed standards, provide facilities and personnel for thermal testing of teachers and learners and further support adequate sanitation like water, and take all necessary measures to reduce class sizes.
The applicants in the urgent chamber application are the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union (ARTUZ), Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTU), Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ), Zimbabwe Democratic Teachers Union (ZDTU), Zimbabwe National Education Union (ZINEU), Zimbabwe Teachers Association, (ZIMTA) and Zimbabwe National Teacher Union (ZINATU).
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The unions listed the Zimbabwe Examinations Council (ZIMSEC), Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, the Civil Service Commission, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Minister of Health and Child Care as respondents.
ZIMTA chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu confirmed the development, saying the government should not threaten school heads and should also avail a COVID-19 risk allowance for teachers since they would be assuming the role of frontline workers.
The respondents are yet to respond to the application.