Teachers’ representatives have expressed displeasure over the delay by the government to pay school fees for their children.
In April this year, the government announced that it would pay school fees for teachers’ children to cushion them from the high cost of living but the pledge has not yet been fulfilled.
Teachers’ unions told NewsDay yesterday that they were surprised by the new terms and conditions introduced by the government with regard to the payment of fees.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said:
The government is now changing goalposts. Initially, they claimed they would pay directly to the schools and teachers rushed and got invoices from the respective schools where their children are learning. They posted them to their respective provinces. They announced changes in the procedure more than four times, and now government is claiming that it has no capacity to pay the fees through schools. They are saying they will pay through the Salary Service Bureau (SSB).
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Zhou said teachers had been ordered to redo the paperwork and the money will come next year.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Teachers Association of Zimbabwe secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said the payment of school fees for teachers directly into their accounts through SSB was what the National Joint Negotiating Council agreed on. Taderera said:
This was a proposal by the workers where we said rather than putting money into the school account, why not put money into the teacher’s account? In our view, it is the best way to go as it is fees payment and has nothing to do with the employer.
Public Service Commission secretary Simon Masanga echoed Taderera’s remarks adding that it was agreed that the money will be paid in December.
Teachers, like the rest of the civil service, have in the past two years embarked on periodic strikes demanding restoration of their pre-October 2018 salaries which were around US$450.