Teachers' Unions Want Higher And Tertiary Minister Murwira Fired
Teachers’ unions are demanding the dismissal of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development minister Amon Murwira for urging new graduates to open their own schools to cater for the estimated 4 000 schools deficit in the country.
The unions said the remarks were reckless since the government is constitutionally mandated to provide education facilities for its citizens and not delegate that responsibility to private investors, according to NewsDay.
Addressing a graduation ceremony at the United College of Education (UCE) in Bulawayo recently, Murwira said:
What we lacked was the framework under which our graduates can start schools and be facilitated to do so.
It’s normally a matter of policy direction and resources being poured towards that policy direction.
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That’s where the discussion is, not whether we have enough jobs or not. We don’t have enough schools; we don’t have enough teachers and we don’t have enough people with the expertise that you have.
I told you about the deficit of schools. So why are we stuck? Why are we not building schools?
Who said we cannot build schools? Who said we should work for the Public Service Commission?
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said private educational institutions were never designed to take the responsibility to provide education from the State. He added:
Only ruling party, the elite can afford to create these private schools. Murwira’s sentiments were meant to legitimise the proliferation of private schools owned by the ruling elites. Teachers are being exploited in such schools and we hope the graduate teachers understand that they are being lured to private schools to be exploited.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou concurred with Masaraure adding that the Minister must accept that the State has failed and look for investors who could possibly build schools.