Govt to review teachers leave structure

 Cde Matangaidze

Cde Matangaidze

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Government is considering reviewing teachers’ leave structure that allows educators to rest three months per year during school holidays, but still entitled to another additional four months vacation after seven years, Senate heard yesterday.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Tapiwa Matangaidze said teachers appeared to enjoy unfair advantage over other civil servants who enjoyed one month annual leave while teachers rest for three months every year during school holidays.

Deputy Minister Matangaidze said this while responding to questions in Senate.

Manicaland Senator Shadreck Chipanga (zanu-pf) had asked Deputy Minister Matangaidze to explain the hullabaloo regarding the withdrawal of teachers leave.

Several Senators subsequently took turns to probe the Deputy Minister on the matter.

Deputy Minister Matangaidze said the origin of teachers leave structure came from the fact that the country used to rely on expatriates who constantly wanted to go back to their countries.

“The challenge we have now is that we have conditions of service that we have agreed with them over the years. To amend them has (legal) implications. But I think you will agree with me that the leave conditions for teachers are different from those that are entitled to other civil servants,” said Deputy Minister Matangaidze.

He said Government had in the meantime suspended employment of relief teachers.

“We are assessing the whole situation on what can be done. We are looking at the justification of the leave after seven years in light of the fact that they take three months rest a year,” he said.

Responding to another question Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Paddy Zhanda, said Government would restrict quantities of grain one would be allowed to buy from Grain Marketing Board.

This followed the reduction of the price from $23 per 50kg to $15 to assist ordinary people affected by El-Nino induced drought.

“No one will be allowed to buy the maize for commercial purposes like milling for business. Yes the reduction can be an avenue of abuse so a limit will be imposed on what one can buy,” said Deputy Minister Zhanda.

Midlands traditional leader, Chief Ntambeni, wanted to know if Government could relax the conditions to allow traditional leaders to buy more quantities considering that they looked after widows and orphans.

Deputy Minister Zhanda said the issue could be looked into and where there was a compelling case it could be acceded to.

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  • James Chirozvi

    The folly of the government decision is that teachers who usually work beyond teaching hours that include marking and other activities like scheming will no longer do that when their eight hours are over. Why should they kill themselves working for an ungrateful employer who fails to realise that even during school holidays teachers will be busy collecting and identifying resources they would need for the next term.

  • wemachongwe

    I think the honourable Deputy Minister needs to revisit his thoughts. Why teachers where is we have the soldiers who take 3 weeks if not 3 months off then leave on top of that? No problem sir, if you continue supressing teachers then we will vote for you in 2018. The system is very bad in civil service. Who ever wants to intrduce a policy is targeting teachers without considering the working conditions of the teacher and the salary the teacher gets.

  • rangwani

    Consultations are important. We need to consult the affected people to ensure sound decisions are made. The idea of knowing it all and lying about a situation in parliament is not good, neither does it command respect. Which expatriate teacher is our minister talking about. What rest does he talk about? Has he ever experienced what the school holiday is to the teacher? If he intends to send teachers on leave during school holidays then he should convince parliament and its made into law, albeit with the attentant adverse effects on the system. Our ministers now think that cutting the wage bill at all costs is a solution to our economic plight. I say no its not. Their business is to promulgate legislature that encourages the revival of industry and our civil service wage bill will be negligible, to say the least.

    • ZimTeacher

      What the government is proposing is so wrong, they are off the mark by a thousand miles. As a former Zim teacher now teaching overseas, I have experienced both systems and I can confirm as others have already indicated that this is exactly how teachers are employed all over the world. Just check within our SADC region, this is how employment conditions for teachers are structured. The teacher’s job does not end with his/her departure from the classroom, we are working all the time, sometimes late into the night. Even lecturers at Universities and Colleges are in the same boat, its the nature of the teaching profession and to do otherwise will kill the education system. We were once the envy of many in terms of our high education standards. We are down now, such a shift in policy will only worsen the situation.

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  • Wilson Magaya

    I agree totally. Lets stick to all policy on teaching profession, especially the class size

  • Francis Munangwa

    Teachers should take comfort in that the President is a former teacher himself and will not allow a century old tradition to be changed because some people are trying to save money which is not there in the first place. You apply to go on leave and surely you cant say someone is enjoying leave because there is no work to be done, this is forced leave! If they want to consider the school holiday as leave then teachers will be free even to go on leave in February or June.