Zimbabwe has given teachers who have not yet returned to work until Tuesday, 22 February, to return to work or get fired.
The Public Services Commission said in a statement today that the continued strike by teachers after the government had reached an agreement on 11 February with the National Joint Negotiating Council which represents all civil servants could not be tolerated as it would have a lasting, negative impact on an entire generation.
The government agreed to award all civil servants a 20% salary increment backdated to January, and also to convert US$100 from their current income to United States dollars from 1 March resulting in civil servants getting US$175 a month.
It also agreed to pay fees for children of teachers $20 000 a term for up to three children.
The PSC said all teachers, deputy heads and heads of schools who do not report for duty by Tuesday 22 February will be deemed to have resigned from the service.
It said those reporting for duty but not teaching would also be deemed to have resigned.
All those who will have been deemed to have resigned but are occupying institutional accommodation will be required to vacate immediately.
The PSC also called on unemployed trained teachers, university and college graduates in the sciences, engineering, technical and vocational areas who are interested in joining the teaching profession to register at the nearest district office as recruitment will begin soon after 22 February.
Those deemed to have resigned will, however, not be eligible for recruitment.
“Government has taken the position that it will now work with those who demonstrate their commitment by performing their duties at all times to serve the nation,” The PSC said.
“In terms of section 75 sub-section4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, concerning the right to education,” the PSC said, “the government of Zimbabwe has already taken reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realization of the right to education.”
The PSC said it had resorted to this action because the children had already lost one month of learning due to the coronavirus pandemic and parents were being prejudiced of their investment in their children’s education.