Zimbabwe teachers strike as schools reopen after virus shutdown

Agence France-Presse
Zimbabwe teachers strike as schools reopen after virus shutdown

Pupils observe social distancing before school assembly at Queen Elizabeth School in Harare on September 28, 2020. - Public schools in Zimbabwe have been reopened after authorities began relaxing a COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown imposed since March 30, 2020, initially only allowing examination classes to return to schools. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)


Teachers' salaries average an equivalent of $40 (P1,940) a month, down from $550 (P26,680) in October 2018

Hundreds of Zimbabwean teachers demanding better pay stayed at home on Monday, as schools reopened after 6 months of coronavirus restrictions.

At the Warren Park High School in a western working class suburb of Harare, dozens of students waited for their teachers in vain at an unfinished school building.

Some wore face masks. A 20-liter bucket of hand sanitizer was placed at the school entrance.

At another government school in the upper class Avondale district, no teachers were in sight and primary pupils played outside classrooms.

Teachers “did not turn up for duty,” Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of one of the country’s largest unions, the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Majongwe said teachers battle to “survive” and that they can’t even afford to send their own children to school.

Teachers’ salaries, he said, have been heavily eroded by inflation – which stands at over 700% – to an average equivalent of $40 (P1,940) a month, down from $550 (P26,680) in October 2018.

“Forty dollars is an insult. Teachers have lost their ranking in society. It’s actually an insult to be a teacher. It’s a curse,” he said.

Zimbabwe is being buffeted by its worst economic crisis in over a decade and is grappling with hyperinflation. –

$1 = 48.51 PHP

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.