Teachers’ salaries are grossly inadequate, forcing them to conduct extra lessons or other moonlighting activities from which they earn forex, a recent Parliament of Zimbabwe study has shown.
The lowest-paid teacher in the country earns about ZWL$28 600 which is an equivalent of approximately US$211 according to the parallel market exchange rate.
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A joint report of the portfolio committee on primary and secondary education and public service, labour and social welfare on the petition from teachers unions on teacher’s welfare was tabled before the National Assembly last Thursday.
The report was presented by Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, chairperson of the portfolio committee on primary and secondary education. It read:
Teachers’ salaries are grossly inadequate and cannot cater for their own and family basic needs.
The impasse between the government and teachers has not been resolved for a long time.
Teachers are clearly demotivated and prefer to conduct extra lessons or other moonlighting activities from which they earn foreign currency payments.
The teachers’ conditions of service, according to the report, improved during the inclusive government period between 2008 and 2013.
The report recommended engagement between teachers and the government, without politicising the process.
It also urged the Government to call for an urgent meeting with the Civil Service Workers Union to discuss the current negotiating framework, including its shortfall and explore the possibility of coming up with a framework that favours the majority of civil servants by 31 August 2021.