A preliminary research by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has found that at least 75% of Zimbabwean teachers are suffering from stress-related challenges owing to poor salaries and working conditions.
Teachers have been demanding the restoration of their pre-October 2018 salary of US$540 to make ends meet.
According to labour unions, teachers are currently earning ZWL$60,000 and an additional US$200 in allowances.
PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said the underpayment of teachers has led “to an increase in alcoholism and suicide cases” within the teaching fraternity.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union (ARTUZ) of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said teachers “should be at rehabilitation centres”, and not in the classroom.
However, speaking to the press, Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro dismissed the survey saying it was aimed at causing alarm and despondency. He said:
They should not be sensational. Besides, they are not medical doctors, so how did they diagnose that and how did they get the statistics?
They should not cause alarm and pandemonium in the education sector. We have close to 100% of our teachers in schools right now coming to school every day. Our statistics show that teachers are committed to delivering quality education.
What they are talking about is the wisp of their imagination.