Zimbabwe’s rural teachers will next week embark on a 200 kilometer march against political violence, poor salaries and government failure to improve education facilities in the countryside.
The protest will start in Murehwa district, Mashonaland East on August 15 and proceed for 10 days to the capital city, Harare, said the Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.
“We call upon all teachers and parents based in the areas which we will walk through, to join us and march for the betterment of rural education,” the Union said in a statement on Wednesday.
It is also demanding a monthly pay adjustment of between $700 and $800, a 100 percent increment in teachers’ rural allowances as well as restoration of maternity leave for teachers on probation.
Moreover, it wants “infrastructural development in rural schools and communities, an end to all forms of violence against rural teachers and a dissolution of the government” if its demands are not met.
RTUZ secretary-general Robson Chere told Studio 7 that many rural teachers were being subjected to political violence by Zanu PF supporters for demanding a better life from the government.
Chere noted that education standards were falling as a result of failure by the government to fix the economy.
“Some pupils in rural areas travel more than 20 km to school daily, learning in deplorable infrastructure. Teachers are faced with the brunt of an economically, socially and politically bankrupt government and those based in rural areas are the worst affected.”