By Raymond Majongwe
It has come to the attention of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) that there is an audio circulating featuring one school Head and a legislature in the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
In the audio, the legislator (Simba Mdarikwa) is heard berating the school Head for what he calls a low pass rate, while the head is justifying the pass rate, under the circumstances. The legislator can also be heard threatening the Head with two things;
- That the legislator will mobilise parents not to pay school fees at the school.
- That he will cause the removal of the Head and female teachers whom he says have husbands who are lecturers at Nyadire.
The legislator also makes unfounded sexist and provocative remarks about the female teachers, whom he claims passed their teaching courses because their husbands are lecturers at Nyadire Teachers’ College.
We would like to make an official complaint to the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the legislator in question that he should stop wading into a professional lane that has little to do with him. School heads report to their Ministry’s chain of command, and should not be threatened by anyone, including politicians that believe they have all the power in the world to dismiss teachers whose schools are in their constituencies.
The legislator should also stop threatening to dismiss teachers that are employed by the state and were not deployed by him. If the Ministry has a problem with the pass rate or anything else in schools, it should use the necessary channels in dealing with these matters.
We believe the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should defend it’s personnel from crude remarks and unnecessary threats that have the potential to poison the atmosphere in schools.
The reason for the fall in the national pass rate cannot be ascribed to individual teachers and schools since it is a matter of public record.
We stand with poorly paid hard working teachers and school heads that are operating under very difficult circumstances, some natural and some man-made.
Communities should always strive to be accommodative to teachers deployed in their areas so that they deliver what they were deployed to do.
–Raymond Majongwe is the Secretary General of PTUZ