Teachers in empowerement drive PDF Print E-mail


ZIMTA President , Mrs Tendai Chikowore says, Teachers must be given a share in the empowerement drive.


Created: 17 April 2012



Adopted from The Chronicle


In an interview on the sidelines of the first day of the conference yesterday, Zimta president Mrs Tendai Chikowore said teachers should be given a share in the empowerment drive.

She said it was high time that the Government came out clear on how civil servants, who have grappled with economic challenges for a long time, were going to benefit from the indigenisation policy.

“For a long time there has been a lot of talk about the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programme in Zimbabwe, but the Government has not been clear on how civil servants will benefit from the scheme.

“Often the discussions on the issue have appealed more to the private sector and teachers have been sidelined. We have invited some guests to talk about the economic empowerment of teachers in line with the conference theme of ‘Enhancing the Status of Teachers Through Economic Empowerment’. This forms the thrust of our conference,” said Mrs Chikowore who is also the president of the Apex Council, an umbrella body of civil servants representative bodies.

“We want to interrogate the Government so that we can find out how we can be accommodated in the indigenisation programme. We want to know what is there for civil servants.
“We are also concerned about the poor remuneration of teachers and we want to know what the Government is doing about that. This conference will review

progress on these matters and map the way forward,” she said.
Mrs Chikowore said the conference was also going to deliberate on the conditions of service for teachers.
She said there was a need for the Government          to increase budget allocations to the education sector especially on the development of infrastructure.

Mrs Chikowore said Zimta was concerned about low pass rates at most schools and attributed the trend to demoralisation of teachers and lack of adequate support from Treasury.
She said it was disappointing that the Government had made a lot of promises to teachers but not a single had been fulfilled.

Mrs Chikowore said the issue of incentives had divided teachers who were now being paid different packages with those teaching at affluent schools being paid very attractive incentives.
She said Zimta was concerned about the difficulties faced by teachers returning from the Diaspora.

“A lot of teachers are returning home because of the improved economic environment at home. The problem is that conditions of absorbing those teachers back are very cumbersome.
“There is a need to relax the system so                    that returning professionals are quickly absorbed back into the system especially those                 teaching

Science and Mathematics,” said  Mrs Chikowore.
Meanwhile, the president of the Swedish Teachers Union, Mrs Eva-Lis Siren, who is attending the conference said governments the world over should empower teachers in order to achieve meaningful development.

She said every developmental foundation starts with the teacher.
“Governments should realise that everything starts with the teacher. Ignoring the teachers’ welfare has long-term effects. It is the duty of governments to make the teaching profession more attractive. If we do not get the best teachers our skills base would be crippled and we cannot expect to develop as nations,” said Mrs Siren, who is also a member of Education International, which boasts of about 30 million members.

She also urged teachers’ unions to adopt modern  technology, which she said was key to the development of  education.
The conference kicked off with a meeting of the national executive and the official opening is today.
Bulawayo Governor and Resident Minister Cde Cain Mathema, academics and representatives of sister unions  locally and from the Southern African region are expected to address the conference.

About 250 delegates drawn from Zimta’s membership from the country’s 10 provinces, key stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, Education International and Sadc countries teachers' unions representatives are expected to attend.
Zimta is the country’s largest professional teacher trade union, with a membership of about        45 000.

Zimta was established in 1942 but only came to be known as Zimta after independence in 1980.





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