Full Q & A below:
*HON. MLAMBO: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. It is now 3 weeks since our children have been going to school where there are no teachers teaching. What is Government policy with regards to these industrial actions by teachers whilst parents have paid full school fees?
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATOIN (HON. MATHEMA): Yes, the Hon. Member is correct that our children have been going back to school, they started in June for the ZIMSEC examinations. Again on the 14th September, they went for the Cambridge examination and again on the 28th for the Grade 7s, Form 4s and 6 examination preparations.
As we all know, there is an industrial action by some of the teachers but schools are open and we are doing the best we can through my colleague, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. My colleague is discussing through the normal channels with the employees for them to go back to work for those who are not at work. We are doing the best we can to negotiate with them so that they all go back to work and our children will find a good safe place at schools.
*HON. MLAMBO: How long does it take for these negotiations that the Minister has referred to for the teachers to go back to school? Our form 4s, 6 and grade 7s did not have enough time to study and they are due for examinations in December. So, how long do you want to take as a Ministry to resolve this issue of teachers who are earning 30 USD so that they will also be able to send their own children to school?
HON. MATHEMA: Not all teachers are on strike. Those teachers that are not going to work know the channel, which is through the Minister Prof. Mavhima. As the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, I cannot be seen to be closing schools because some teachers are saying they are not going to work.
So, as far as the situation is concerned, the schools are open and the teacher – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Mliswa, it is either that you get the answer or you disown it. You are free to ask a supplementary question.
HON. MATHEMA: So as far as I am concerned, schools are open and those teachers who are not at work know the channels of how to negotiate with the relevant authority and that is the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Thank you very much.
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