The Zimbabwe Teachers Association President Mr Richard Gundane has expressed deep gratitude to all teachers in Zimbabwe for remaining  focused, patient and  consistent in expressing  and pushing for their demands to have  improved salaries and working conditions despite working in unfavourable and hostile conditions, which at times are not fit for professionals.

Created: 04 October 2016

Gundane’s consoling words were delivered on the eve of the World Teachers’ day celebrations falling   on the 5th of October of every year.The world teachers’ day is being celebrated this year under the theme, Valuing Teachers Improving Their Status.  2016 marks the 50thanniversary of the adoption of the ILO/ UNESCO Recommendation on the status of Teachers .This Recommendation was made to improve the professional status and working conditions of teachers worldwide.
“As we mark this year’s celebrations, it is important that we take into consideration the whole host of problems that teachers are encountering at this point in time, first and foremost, my organisation , (ZIMTA) wants the teachers’ professionalism standards implemented as soon as possible, the infiltration into the profession of unqualified staff has really disturbed the delivery of quality education in public schools to a great extend and it has devalued the status of the teacher to a deplorable state,
“Then because of this, teachers’ working conditions have continued to deteriorate. Teachers’ working conditions have never been the same ever since the infiltration of unqualified staff into the system” Said Gundane
The ZIMTA President said one other thing that was devaluing teachers in Zimbabwe at the moment, was the serious violations of teachers’ trade union and human rights issues, such as the right to go on strike. He cited an example of teachers being harassed and being denied their right to earning monthly salaries after having participated in an industrial action during the month of July at some school in Mashonaland central.
“But according to the country’s constitution, teachers have a right to strike, how can anyone seek to stop them from exercising their right? ” Gundane queried.
The ZIMTA president said it was the Association’s  view that as stakeholders and government put their heads together during the commemorations for Wold Teachers’ Day this year, they consider  seriously, the importance of affording continuous teacher development programs to teachers through  ongoing in-house  teacher training opportunities so that teachers’ remain relevant to the ever changing environment.
According to  evidence from a  research done by Education International,(E.I) which is an affiliate body to more than 400 teacher trade unions globally, there has been a decline in teacher status and conditions over the last few years mainly due to , sub-standard  teacher preparation programs, and the recruitment of unqualified personnel, secondly, the infringements on academic  freedom and professional autonomy, thirdly the serious  violations of teachers’ human  and trade union rights and finally, the issue of poor salaries,poor working conditions and quite often less than those of professionals  with comparable qualifications in other sectors.






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