THE Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has condemned as ill-advised government plans to re-train teachers and vowed to resist the move.
Education minister Lazarus Dokora last week revealed the government had secured $23,6 million from the Global Partnership for Education for the retraining of teachers to improve their efficiency.
However, PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou indicated on Friday that these plans were unfortunate and ill-conceived saying teacher efficiency could only be improved through the payment of good salaries.
“We again reiterate our long-held view that the problem in schools in Zimbabwe is not so much of teacher inefficiency as of security and pathetic salaries.
“Any impositions would be resisted and ultimately futile,” Zhou said in a statement.
Teachers are demanding a basic salary of $800, but an organ representing all civil servants submitted proposals of $450 for the lowest paid government employee.
Zhou said the government should rather channel the $23,6 million funds to teacher training colleges and universities to help improve the curriculum if it was concerned about teaching standards in the country.
“PTUZ strongly recommends that if the ministry has seen a deficiency in teacher training, then it needs to improve training in teacher training colleges and universities with teachers in service getting in-service training rather than retraining.”
He said it was worrisome that the government never consulted teachers on the need to retrain them.
“PTUZ would want to advice the new minister of Education that teachers, as important stakeholders, would want to be involved in policy formulation rather than be abused to implement unpopular measures.
“Surely teachers need in-service training and not necessarily retraining.
“What is worrisome is that there has not been a baseline survey to determine what form of in-service training the teachers may want yet the ministry is already at an advanced stage in its so-called programme of retraining of teachers.”