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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Morocco, Zimbabwe Governments Urged To Spare Thoughts For The Welfare Of Teachers

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Tafadzwa Mwanengureni
Tafadzwa Mwanengureni
I am a student journalist at Harare Polytechnic majoring in print journalism


MOROCCO: “A child who does not cry, die in the cradle” is a Zimbabwean proverb that literally mean one has to make noise in order to draw attention.

The saying turn to be the opposite in Zimbabwe and Morocco as the governments seem to give a deaf ear to the grievances of teachers.

Response by the governments

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This has been witnessed by a brutal response by police towards protests by contractual teachers in Morocco.

The same applies to Zimbabwe where several teachers associations members have been in and out of the prison for demonstrating for the augmentation of their salaries.

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Amalgamated Rural Teachers Association Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) ran several protests against the incapacitation of teachers in the country, but the government remained unmoved.

ARTUZ Secretary-General, Robson Chere told Transcontinental Times that nothing materialised from the employer.

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“The government’s response was reckless and lacked thought and commitment to change, basically there was no response to talk about, the state reacted through direct attacks on the members of ARTUZ by ceasing their salaries and also disregarding alternatives provided”.

“They have even further gone on disregarding to dismiss the incapacitation being faced by teachers by refusing to review their salaries”, he said.

Teachers in Zimbabwe are claiming pre-October 2018 salary which was US$520 per month.
Currently, the salary is equivalent to less than US$200.

Inequalities within the civil service

It is sad to note that, albeit of teachers being government employees, there is a deep inequality within the civil service as in other occupations trainees which include nurses and security forces receive a stipend during training.

Whereas teachers get a salary while on attachment only and struggle to secure jobs after college.

As of October 2020, the Unemployed Teachers Association (UTA) Zimbabwe database shows that 37,000 teachers are unemployed.

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ln Morocco, contractual teachers have no job security and also inequalities within the workforce as they are subjected to be fired for ‘any mistake’ without notice or being called for a hearing.

Last month, Morocco recorded approximately 50,000 contractual teachers hired since 2016. 
Governments should spare a thought for these foundation builders because for them to reach that level they passed through the hands of teachers.

Even so, they have families and children whom they want to look after.

Their children are failing to further their education because teacher parents can’t afford to send them to universities despite them being service providers.

Learners are also affected

Nevertheless, it is through teachers that a country can be counted among the international or regional giants in the education sector.

Therefore, the response by the governments towards the petition by educators is affecting learners who are going for days without teachers in classes due to strikes and go-slows.

Access to education has also become a global concern as witnessed by Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4).

However, SDG 4 cannot be easily achieved when educators are curtailed to enjoy their rights which enables them to deliver proper education to learners.

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