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Zimbabwe Teachers Divided Over Strike as New School Term Begins

Many teachers heeded the call by the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association to go out on strike Wednesday as schools reopened for a new term.

But instructors from the Progressive Teachers of Union showed up at their schools though some sources said there was not a lot of teaching taking place in classrooms.

Education Minister David Coltart tried to engage officials of the Teachers Association in talks late Tuesday, but officials of the organization did not participate.

Association Secretary General Richard Gundani told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the strike was successful, but he could not provide figures on how many schools were affected by the labor action.

ZIMTA is demanding an increase in teacher salaries of up to US$700 a month compared with the current entry level wage of US$170. The government says it cannot afford this.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe General Secretary Raymond Majongwe said about 60% to 70% of teachers reported for duty around the country on Wednesday.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...