The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has bemoaned an increase in the number of teachers employed by the government who are committing suicide due to poor remuneration.
PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou also said the number of families of teachers breaking-up is going up as well as educators find it hard to cope with paltry salaries. Zhou said:
The government must simply pay teachers better salaries. Several teachers have committed suicide because of poverty, several families are breaking up or separating because of poverty.
Many more are scavenging to feed their families or engaging in artisanal mining. Those who retire quickly, fast track into death because of stress.
Recently, Pedzisai Chiresve, a mathematics teacher at George Chipadze Secondary School in Zvishavane died after falling headlong into a 15 metres deep mining shaft where he was panning for gold with fellow teachers.
The government pays teachers a fraction of what it pays soldiers and police officers, a situation that has forced teachers to declare incapacitation (failure to report for duty due to poor salaries).