The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is investigating cases of teachers who did not report for duty when schools opened on 7 February to ascertain whether their reasons for their absence are genuine or not.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) had given the absentee teachers until Tuesday, 22 February to resume work or be regarded as having resigned voluntarily.
The majority of teachers failed to report for duty when schools opened early this month citing incapacitation.
The teachers were also demanding pre-October 2018 US dollar salaries of up to US$540 per month.
Primary and Secondary Education communication and advocacy director, Taungana Ndoro said that they need up to two weeks to complete their investigations. Ndoro said:
Someone did not come but was not able to give a reason, a valid reason. So we need to give a little bit more time for us to actually say, this person did not come to work deliberately.
We can’t give statistics and figures of those who really absconded from duty as of now. Perhaps in one or two weeks, we shall get a clear picture.
What if that person was unconscious, injured or involved in an accident and they don’t know what transpired?
So there’s a lot of due diligence that we need to do to find out what is really on the ground.
Perhaps in two weeks’ time, we would have published that there are people who are no longer part of the system.
We may even receive resignation letters as there are a lot of things at play. There are people who would say, ‘I don’t know why you want to fire me, as I actually resigned’.
For those who weren’t at work and only pitched up on February 22, the same will happen, due diligence will take place.
They shall be asked why they were not at work.
Early this month, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education suspended striking teachers and school heads without pay for three months.
However, a High Court challenge by teachers’ unions to stay the suspensions was granted.