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PTUZ observations on the Education Amendment Bill 2005
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)
August 10, 2005

The following are observations from the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe on the Education Amendment Bill 2005.

EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL 2005

Clause 5
The prescription of fees charged by non-government schools will cripple these schools. Considering that it takes Him more than six months to decide what fees are to be paid in government schools as has happened this year most schools may not be able to operate whilst he dilly dallies with their applications. A commission comprising representatives of these school and senior ministry officials should instead be set up to deliberate on fee increases.

Clause 6
Appealing to the Minister wont work because he will simply refer your appeal back to the Permanent Secretary. It would be better to appeal to the High Court considering the urgency involved.

Clause 10
An Education Services Commission should be set up as quickly as possible. This commission will determine the qualifications of teachers in both government and non-government schools. The Minister has already made up his mind to get rid of people employed to coach certain sports in non-government schools and wants to sneak this clause into the Act so that his aim is made easier.

Clause 11
The Minister should not be allowed to make rules and regulations for teachers he does not employ. Instead the responsible authorities of these schools should be allowed to design their own codes of conduct using the Public Service regulations as a guideline. Such codes of conduct should then be registered with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and social Welfare and the Education Ministry.

Clause 13
This clause is vague. We believe that this clause may be used to discriminate certain associations. We also feel that the clause should state that the Minister may recognize ‘Teachers’ Unions’

Where it states that membership of such unions will be restricted to serving members of the profession, we feel there is a hidden motive to eliminate teachers who have taken up full time jobs in their unions.

IMPORTANT ISSUES OMMITTED FROM THE BILL:

  1. HIV/ Aids
    The Ministry has lost a large number of teachers to HIV/Aids in the last 15 years. We feel that the issue of providing for the needs of teachers who are infected should be addressed by an act of parliament. If this is not done then we will continue to pay lip service to this problem. The country is already experiencing a shortage of teachers as many of them succumb to HIV/Aids related illnesses. The Minister must make it his business to ensure that infected teachers are provided with anti-retroviral drugs because these will prolong their lives and minimize absenteeism resulting from illness.

  2. Conditions of Service
    We also observe that the bill concentrates on issues pertaining to the employment and discipline of teachers in non-government schools. As far as we are concerned the Minister should be more concerned about the Conditions of Service and Remuneration of teachers in Government schools. These teachers are grossly underpaid and as workers and are virtually starving. They have to borrow so that they can show up for work. Why should the Minister waste time harassing teachers who are well paid and are happy with their jobs? Address the issue of poor salaries for teachers in your schools first Comrade Minister. Whilst ofn the issue of poor salaries, we also note with concern that teachers with disabilities receive no special allowances. For instance, a blind teacher has to employ an aide in order to function efficiently. Such a teacher is required to pay the aide from their paltry salary. This is unfair.

Thank you for your time

Raymond Majongwe
General Secretary

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