The government Sunday accused teachers of presiding over the collapse of the education system by refusing to invigilate the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) “O” and “A” Level examinations for free.
The examinations are set to start this Monday, 22 November 2021, but the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), the Zimbabwe National Teachers Union (ZINATU) and the Educators Union of Zimbabwe (EUZ) have declared that their members would not invigilate if the government was not going to pay them for the service.
Zimbabwe’s largest teachers’ union ZIMTA, yesterday said it would attend a National Joint Negotiation Council meeting today, whose outcome would determine whether its members would withdraw their services from the Zimsec examination process.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro on Friday told NewsDay that if teachers withdraw their services, the government will use “anyone” to invigilate the examinations. He said:
Invigilation and teaching in class are two separate issues. Invigilation can be conducted by anyone…
On Sunday, Ndoro said while teaching was a noble profession, some teachers’ unions were no longer concerned about the education of learners. He said:
However, in today’s world, the word ‘noble’ is misused by the likes of leaders of ARTUZ, ZINATU and the one-man-band EUZ. As for the second-largest teachers union in Zimbabwe, PTUZ, we respect that their teachers stretch themselves to help their learners without unreasonable expectations.
They remain noble together with a host of non-unionised teachers that we are confident will invigilate exams with no immediate extra benefits because they are doing a noble profession.
But the unions accused the government of using divide and rule tactics to dissuade them from fighting for a common cause.
EUZ secretary-general Tapedza Zhou said EUZ members are not “anyone” who can provide invigilation services for free adding that teachers have made up their mind about not invigilating for free.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the government’s failure to address the concerns of teachers was compromising the quality and standards of education.