Coltart and UNICEF launch Education Trust Fund


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Education Minister David Coltart together with the United Nations Children’s Fund and other Western donors launched an Education Trust Fund in September 2009 to bring books to primary schools around the country.

The trust was also expected to fund fees for orphans and vulnerable children.

A total of US$70 million was pledged to UNICEF for the fund.

The funding was not being routed through the government.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 09HARARE752, ZANU-PF YOUTH BEAT TEACHER FOR FAILING TO STRIKE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE752

2009-09-18 10:22

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8903

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0752/01 2611022

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 181022Z SEP 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4919

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2376

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3033

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3146

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1575

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2409

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2778

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3194

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5639

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2326

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000752

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR M. GAVIN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E.LOKEN

STATE PASS TO DOL FOR S. HALEY

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM EAID ELAB ASEC PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF YOUTH BEAT TEACHER FOR FAILING TO STRIKE

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (U) On September 11, ZANU-PF youth beat up an elementary school

teacher in a rural area in eastern Zimbabwe for not going on strike

with the historically ZANU-PF-aligned Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association

(ZIMTA) union. The aggressors had warned the teacher that he should

stop teaching “until Tsvangirai removes sanctions.” According to

the rival Progressive Teachers’ Union (PTUZ), headmasters in some

areas have locked their doors in order to prevent teachers from

reaching their classrooms. This appears to be an attempt by ZIMTA

and ZANU-PF to undermine progress the inclusive government has made

in re-opening schools that were shuttered throughout most of 2008.

END SUMMARY.

 

——————————-

Teacher beaten by ZANU-PF Youth

——————————-

 

2. (U) On September 11, Duncan Mapasure, a teacher at Mtasa Primary

School in Mtasa district, Manicaland, was beaten by ZANU-PF youth

militia members outside his classroom. PTUZ Secretary General

Raymond Majongwe confirmed the incident. Mapasure was severely

assaulted for failing to heed the call by ZIMTA to embark on a

strike action in which the ZANU-PF backed union is calling for a

salary of at least USD 540 per month. Mr Mapasure sustained serious

head injuries and a broken right hand.

 

3. (U) Mapasure told the press, “I was attending classes on Thursday

when they came in a white Mahindra and demanded that all teachers

should stop teaching and stay home until Tsvangirai removes

sanctions. All teachers then left as the situation was tense. The

following day I went to school to give my pupils a test and it was

while I was invigilating that test that they came and pulled me

outside the classroom and took turns beating me up accusing me of

being a sellout and a puppet of the West.”

 

—————————————–

Teachers Threatened, Locked Out Elsewhere

—————————————–

 

4. (U) Majongwe told us that Mapasure is the only teacher who has

been physically assaulted for not joining the ZIMTA strike, but in

other areas teachers have been threatened by ZANU-PF youth. In

Mashonaland East, teachers have been threatened and ordered to

leave. In Murehwa, the orders were given by menacing ZANU-PF youth;

o the north in Rushinga, a war vet known as Kasoro ordered teachers

out of school. Majongwe also reported that some headmasters in

schools near Bulawayo have locked the school premises in order to

force teachers to follow the ZIMTA-led strike. Majongwe, who has a

good working relationship with Education Minister David Coltart

(MDC-M), told us he gave Coltart the list of closed schools in

Bulawayo earlier this week. Unfortunately, Coltart is hamstrung by

QBulawayo earlier this week. Unfortunately, Coltart is hamstrung by

the longtime civil servants who work for him, including his deputy

minister, permanent secretary and regional education officers, who

drag their feet in implementing his policies.

 

5. (SBU) According to Majongwe, these ZANU-PF aligned civil servants

have influenced ZIMTA to undermine the progress MDC has made in the

last year — principally in re-opening schools and hospitals.

Although ZIMTA has called on teachers to strike for a higher salary,

PTUZ has only called on teachers to strike for two days per week.

Majongwe says that one year was already lost in 2008, and neither

 

HARARE 00000752 002 OF 002

 

 

teachers nor students stand to gain by losing another year through

an extended strike. PTUZ is encouraging teachers to ensure students

are prepared to write their end-of-year national exams, without

which they cannot advance to the next level of schooling, and

promises to postpone various industrial actions until the new 2010

academic year. Some teachers, still anxious for salaries above the

current standard of USD 150 per month, are angry that PTUZ has not

called for a strike, but Majongwe and the PTUZ leadership remain

steadfast in their desire to keep teachers in school to finish the

current academic year.

 

———————————-

American Union Seeks to Bridge Gap

———————————-

 

6. (SBU) This weekend representatives of the executive committees of

PTUZ and ZIMTA will convene in South Africa at a retreat organized

by the American Federation of Teachers in an effort to bridge the

growing gap between the two unions. Although the unions were

historically rivals, earlier this year they united in their efforts

to garner higher teacher wages. In recent months however, the

tensions have increased dramatically between the two, and Majongwe

told us he has stopped speaking to the leaders of ZIMTA.

 

——————————-

Donors Helping Revive Education

——————————-

 

7. (U) In recent weeks, the government has made some progress in

improving public education. Significantly on Monday, Coltart,

UNICEF, and Western donors launched a major initiative, the

Education Transition Fund (ETF), which will bring a significant

number of school books to primary schools across Zimbabwe while also

funding school fees for orphans and vulnerable children. So far

Western donors have pledged USD 70 million to UNICEF for the Fund.

This new funding, which is not being routed through the government,

marks a major international donation that will help the people of

Zimbabwe in a tangible way visible in rural communities. (COMMENT:

While the ETF is an important commitment to education, major

investments in personnel and infrastructure will be necessary to

begin to return Zimbabwean education to the high standard it once

enjoyed. END COMMENT.)

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (SBU) Education under Minister Coltart has been a bright spot for

the new government. Many in ZANU-PF want the inclusive government

to fail, and undermining education may be an attempt to achieve that

goal. END COMMENT.

 

PETTERSON

 

(6 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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