Nelson Chamisa, the leader of Zimbabwe’s largest opposition political party, the MDC Alliance, has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to improve teachers’ working conditions and reopen schools.
Chamisa said schools should be reopened forthwith with strict observance of COVID-19 prevention measures.
The opposition leader also urged the Government to restore teachers’ pre-October salaries when the average civil servant was paid US$540 per month. Tweeted Chamisa:
ADDRESS TEACHERS’ GRIEVANCES & OPEN SCHOOLS NOW! -Restore teachers’ salaries to pre-October 2018 levels of at least USD 540. Improve teachers’ status & the conditions of service. Regularize the negotiating platforms. Open schools under COVID19 precautionary measures.
Recently, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) also urged the Government to reopen schools, saying there is no justification for their continued closure.
ARTUZ queried why schools remain closed when courts, churches, bars, banking halls, supermarkets, among other facilities, are open.
Schools were scheduled to open for the first term on 10 January but Mnangagwa deferred the date indefinitely citing rising coronavirus infections at the time.
Just over a week ago, Acting President Constantino Chiwenga, extended the Level Two COVID-19 lockdown by a further two weeks and indicated that schools will remain closed for at least three weeks.