THE 2020 World Teachers Day, celebrated on the 5th October, each year, came amid a lot of tension between Government and teachers, with some teachers heading the call by their representative bodies by snubbing lessons, as the demand for better working conditions, US dollar salaries and COVID- 19 allowances, among a host of other demands, and of course, the advent of COVID- 19 pandemic.
The celebrations were being held under the theme: “Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future”.
As the government gave the green light to re-open schools on the 28th September, after a long hiatus, since March 24, when the COVID- 19 induced national lockdown came into effect; teachers have been on a slow, but sure warpath, with the employer.
The unforeseen, COVID- 19 pandemic, has paused great challenges to an already constrained education system in various ways resulting in a revision of how teachers should teach and work.
Now, because of the current crisis, teachers are supposed to provide virtual lessons, support vulnerable pupils, reopen schools and ensure that students catch up with the learning gaps in the curriculum since schools were forced to close on 24 March 2020, in the country.
Despite the erosion of teachers’ income by the harsh economic environment and the COVID- 19 pandemic, teachers have continued to dedicate themselves to their work of reducing and ultimately eradicate the illiteracy rate among young people and adults in Zimbabwe.
Teachers have a lot of work to do and should be applauded for that. One hopes that the impasse between teachers’ representative bodies and the government will be resolved soon to enable scholars to get back to their classrooms and map their professional careers.