The Government has threatened to severely punish teachers who have failed to report for duty since schools opened on 7 February citing incapacitation.
Addressing reporters after Cabinet’s first sitting in 2022, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Evelyn Ndlovu, has been instructed to deal decisively with the striking teachers. Said Mutsvangwa:
Cabinet noted with dismay the reported absenteeism by some teachers and Headmasters.
Of particular concern, is the alleged barring of some teachers from attending to their work as well as attendance by some teachers without delivering lessons.
The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education has been instructed to take stern action in consultation with the chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Ministers of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
An appropriate statement on the matter will be issued by the minister soonest.
Cabinet would like to commend those teachers who have continued to attend to their duties.
The Government offered teachers and other civil servants a 20% salary increase and a few incentives but it still remains far below the poverty datum line.
Teachers are holding out for a US$540 salary, better working conditions and a reasonable COVID-19 allowance.
More than 90% of the country’s teachers in public schools are said to not have been reporting for work in the past week, a development that prompted the Government to announce the salary increase.
Reports indicate that more teachers are reporting for duty but are not conducting lessons.