The Progressive Teachers Union Zimbabwe (PTUZ) says the 2022 first term is a wasted period and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Government should shoulder the blame.
In a statement, PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said there was virtually no learning in schools from the 7th to the 22nd of February as teachers were incapacitated to report for work. Said Zhou:
… the Ministry lied to cabinet that schools were ready to open on 7th of February when teachers were grossly incapacitated.
There was virtually no learning from 7th of February to 22 February as teachers were incapacitated to report for work, a condition that PTUZ and other Unions conveyed to PSC and line Ministry in written communiques.
Zhou said even after 22 February, there has not been any meaningful learning in schools due to a number of factors.
These include marking Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) examinations until the 10th of March and preparations for the 26 March by-elections.
Zhou said some teachers are currently involved with the ZIMSEC and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) processes. He added:
… the greatest stumbling block to learning has been the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s heavy-handedness in handling the incapacitation of teachers.
As much as teachers started to report for work after getting money in February, Ministry and government want to profess ignorance of teachers’ incapacitation and have embarked on haphazardous meddling and muddling attempts to discipline teachers for being incapacitated.
Zhou also urged both PTUZ members and non-members to be careful in how they respond to school heads if they demand that they explain why they did not report for duty when schools opened last month.
He said PTUZ members must never write anything on their own, as PTUZ legal department will draft any note on their behalf.
Zhou also called on all school heads to always act professionally and desist from using the issue of disciplinary action to settle personal vendettas with some teachers.