The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has condemned the government’s decision to reopen schools amid a widespread cholera outbreak, calling the move “reckless” and “disregarding the pressing concerns raised by parents and teachers.”
ARTUZ accused the government of failing to provide adequate and ample measures to safeguard teachers and students against the medieval disease.
In a statement released on January 10th, ARTUZ also criticized the government’s lack of engagement with educators, particularly regarding their ongoing demand for a US$1260 salary.
The civil servants representative emphasized the need to prioritize the safety and welfare of students and teachers.
“We vehemently condemn the government’s reckless decision to open schools amidst the widespread cholera outbreak, completely disregarding the pressing concerns raised by parents and teachers,” read the statement.
“We demand that the government immediately mobilize substantial resources to ensure the safe reopening of schools because our children deserve nothing less than a secure and conducive learning environment.
“It is the duty of the government to provide sanitary solutions and ensure the safety and well-being of our children,” said ARTUZ.
The union also called on the government to consider an upward increment of teachers’ salaries.
“Also, it is utterly disappointing to witness such a hasty move without even bothering to engage with the educators who have been tirelessly advocating for a just salary of US$1260.
“The safety and welfare of our students and teachers should be the utmost priority, but it seems that the government is callously neglecting this responsibility.
“It is high time for the government to prioritize the well-being of our education system and take meaningful action to address the urgent needs of our dedicated teachers,” said ARTUZ.
Cholera has been ravaging Zimbabwe over the past three months with the government recently embarking on an operation code-named “Chenesa Harare” that will see garbage collected from the city while the treasury is set to provide funds to procure chemicals for water purification.