The projects currently running at ZIMTA Ehlekweni Vocational institute (ZEVI) in 2021, are geared towards consolidating the financial gains made over the years, to resuscitate farm activities and to optimize the Union’s resources through creating other revenue streams , and ultimately reduce pressure on membership subscriptions in the long term,” ZIMTA National Treasurer Mr. John Mulilo has said.
ZEVI hosts a number activities , training programs and projects such as brick molding, teachers’ accommodation facilities and horticulture which are set to revitilise income generation for teachers who subscribe to ZIMTA.
The programs being run under ZEVI are quite lucrative but most importantly they are done solely to benefit the association and its membership. The accommodation provided by the Institute houses teachers and other educators who visit the farm for training opportunities and seminars. The brick molding activities are done for and run by the teachers themselves. The farm also offers some space for horticultural produce.
“ The idea behind all this was to ensure that as teachers grow older in the profession , the need to upskill also grows stronger , therefore our role is to capaciate tachers with new sjkills because as they move towards retirement, the need for self reliance will also become eminent,” said Mulilo while explaining the vision and strategy behind the projects.
“For example, sometimes our members require legal representation, sometimes there are labour issues that need to be taken to the courts for resolution and such issues are expensive. You remember sometime back then we challenged the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in the labour court when we were saying leave was a privilege not a right and we won and teachers are still entitled to that, this is one amongst many other issues that require funding and as you know lawsuits can be quite expensive therefore we definitely need extra income, almost everytime’ he explained.
“We are looking forward to upskilling teachers by training them in horticulture, animal and crop husbandry, brick moulding and other light areas which are manangable after retirement stage. Metal work, Carpentry and Brick molding tutors are also based on the teachers’ farm. Our main goal is to capacitate members to venture into income generating projects after retirement.”
At least 45 000 members of the teaching profession subscribe to ZIMTA. The retirement age for members of the civil service isxxxxxx in Zimbabwe.
ZIMTA is still a union of choice for many professional teachers in Zimbabwe because for many years it has maintained a good reputation. It has managed to instill values of professionalism amongst its members , whilst representing all categories of educators through equipping them with essential information, granting them trade union solidarity in their times of need and training them on labour rights and issues. Advocating for access to quality , inclusive public education is an important agenda in ZIMTA.