Awol teachers considered resigned: PSC

Teachers who do not report for duty by Tuesday next week or those attending but not doing their work will be deemed to have resigned and are supposed to vacate institutional accommodation immediately, if using one, Public Service Commission (PSC) has said.

In a statement, PSC permanent secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said it was disheartening to note that some teachers were continuing to be absent from duty since the opening of schools.

Ambassador Wutawunashe invited qualified professionals who want to join the service to register for them to be considered in the recruitment drive to begin soon.

“All teachers, deputy heads and heads of schools who do not report for duty by Tuesday February 22, 2022, will be deemed to have resigned from the service. Those reporting for duty but not teaching will also be deemed to have resigned,” he said.

“All those who will have in that manner so resigned and were occupying institutional accommodation are expected to vacate the same with immediate effect.

“Unemployed trained teachers, university and college graduates in the sciences, engineering, technical, vocational areas and other disciplines who are interested in joining the teaching profession should ensure that they are registered at the nearest district education offices as the recruitment process shall begin soon after February 22, 2022.”

Ambassador Wutawunashe said those deemed to have resigned shall not be eligible for recruitment.

He added that Government notes with concern that in spite of the significant steps taken to improve conditions of service, working with the Apex Council, some teachers continue to absent themselves from work, with some reporting for duty but not working, depriving learners of their right to education.

Equally, parents are prejudiced of their significant investments in their children’s education.

“Government has taken the position that it will now work with those who demonstrate their commitment by performing their duties at all times to serve the nation.

“In terms of Section 75 sub-section 4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, concerning the right to education, the Government of Zimbabwe has already taken reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right to education,” said Ambassador Wutawunashe.

The industrial action by some in the education sector, noted Ambassador Wutawunashe, was depriving learners who have to cover the ground lost during the Covid-19-induced break.

“This behaviour on the part of some teachers is all the more distressing in view of the fact that it is coming at a time when learners have already lost more than a month of learning in 2022 alone due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and were therefore looking forward to the opportunity to catch up with their studies.

“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated as it will have a lasting, negative impact on an entire generation,” he said.

Engagements between the civil service and Government are being done with workers’ representatives in the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).

The NJNC meeting held last week welcomed the directive by President Mnangagwa to improve the Government offer to its employees through a combination of monetary and non-monetary incentives.

In the category of non-monetary benefits, teachers would benefit from a school fees exemption to cover three children per family, while there are plans to construct institutional accommodation for teachers at or around school premises.

Further, Government shall maintain the current vehicle duty-free privilege for civil servants.

Meanwhile, the High Court yesterday temporarily upheld the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)’s urgent application challenging the Government’s suspension of teachers who failed to report for duty when schools opened for the first term.

The Government, through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, announced that it had suspended all education staffers who failed to report for work, for three months without pay.

Justice Fatima Maxwell temporarily interdicted the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education from suspending the teachers pending the final order.

“The operation of the press statement issued by the respondent on February 10, 2022 suspending all officials within the ministry is hereby stayed pending finalisation of the matter on a final basis,” said Justice Maxwell.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was cited as the respondent in the application.

In its application, ARTUZ, through its legal representative, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, had sought an order declaring the Press statement by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education unconstitutional and unlawful, and be set aside in its entirety.Herald.

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