Thousands of teachers this Wednesday left classrooms to attend the launch of the Teachers for Economic Development (TeachersforED), a shadowy union reportedly championing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election bid.
The three-day event is being held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) amid allegations that schools were made to donate US$10 towards the launch.
This payment is towards transport costs for the TeachersforED launch.
Organisers of the Teachers for ED launch have reportedly ordered some schools to avail buses to ferry educators from different parts of the country to HICC, according to NewsDay.
A memo dated October 17, 2022, written by Primary and Secondary Education ministry secretary Tumisang Thabela read:
Through your Teachers for Economic Development local structures, authority is hereby granted that you release those who have been selected to attend the launch for Teachers for Economic Development.
Local schools have been identified for use by each province as they check into Harare. Provincial education directors must make sure that the examination process is scheduled with adequate invigilators and monitoring taking place as well.”
Teachers attending the launch will be drawn from each of the 10 provinces and will be housed at selected schools in Harare such as Selbourne Routledge, Churchill, Roosevelt, Lewisam Primary, Prince Edward and Queen Elizabeth, among others.
Each of the selected schools will host at least 250 teachers.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro insisted that the teachers for ED programmes were beneficial to teachers. Ndoro said:
As the Teachers for Economic Development officially launch their organisation this week they will mount exhibitions to showcase the entrepreneurship projects and legitimate businesses that have been set up by the teachers themselves as well as their students — both formal and non-formal.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) described the demand for sponsorship from schools by Teachers for ED as a politicisation of the education system adding that ZPP was working with the Zimbabwe Human rights Commission to address such issues.
The three-day event coincides with the writing of the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council Ordinary Level examinations.