WASHINGTON D.C. —
Monday was World Teachers’ Day. While teachers elsewhere celebrated the day and achievements they continue to score, it was not the same for Zimbabwean teachers who are complaining of poor working conditions and remuneration year-in-year-out.
This year’s slogan is “Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies”.
Zimbabwe will commemorate the UNESCO-sponsored day on the 16th of this month with President Robert Mugabe, a former teacher himself, expected to address the gathering.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe general secretary, Raymond Majongwe, told VOA that teachers in Zimbabwe are celebrating their day faced with threats of dismissal following the government’s on-going audit in schools.
“We are all suffering. We are all just commemorating our misery and the fear that has been instilled in the teaching profession by the incessant, unending visits marshalled and steered by the Public Service Commission whose sole purpose is just to defeat and diffuse the camaraderie and the unity that must be characteristic of a teaching profession and we are very worried,” said Majongwe.
Sifiso Ndlovu of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association said he’s glad this year World Teachers Day comes at a time the United Nations has just recently adopted 17 sustainable development goals at the UN General Assembly, with one of them focusing on improving the standard of education in the world.
“That kind of a goal is emphasizing a goal that education with equality is for all people in our societies,” said Ndlovu.
He said the reliable supply of qualified teachers is one of the challenges that can derail the attainment of the goal, adding politics should be kicked out of politics if the country is to ensure all children have equal access to quality education.
He said Zimbabwe should now look into ways of boosting the education sector in order to attain that goal.