The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has urged the Government to reopen schools forthwith, saying there is no justification for their continued closure.
This comes after the Acting President, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, last week extended the Level Two COVID-19 lockdown by a further two weeks.
Chiwenga also said schools may open in February if the Omicron-driven COVID-19 fourth wave subsides.
However, ARTUZ queried why schools are closed when courts, churches, bars, banking halls, supermarkets, among other facilities, are open.
ARTUZ said there is no scientific explanation for the closure of schools and the move by the Government reflects a clear sign of incompetence as well as an assassination of classroom dignity and of the education sector. ARTUZ said:
COVID-19 has become a hiding finger for the Government of Zimbabwe’s unapologetic abuse of fundamental human rights in this case the Right to Education which is section 75 of the most sacred document in Zimbabwe, the Constitution.
The Government of Zimbabwe’s delays in opening schools raises the ineptitude flag, paying attention to the fact that COVID-19 has been in this country for over 2 years now.
If the Government of Zimbabwe had teachers and learners as a priority, the schools would have had already opened.
Courts are open to tens of thousands of people daily. The DA’s office is also open to thousands of people every day.
Banking halls, service stations, churches and supermarkets are also fully open and serve tens of thousands daily.
Airports and the country’s borders are fully opened serving over ten thousand people daily. This raises concern over the Government of Zimbabwe’s areas of priority.
It becomes clear that the Government of Zimbabwe prioritizes areas that bring revenue whilst absconding from their responsibilities.
An average school in Zimbabwe has about 1000 learners but it’s failing to open whilst the above mentioned establishments serve on average over ten thousand people daily.
ARTUZ called on the Government to open schools and restore normalcy in education institutions by paying teachers a living wage.
The union also want the Government to encourage voluntary vaccination of teachers and learners, open up vaccination centres in remote schools; massive COVID-19 testing of teachers, learners and school staff, as well as decongest the classrooms.