Teachers too poor to return to work as Zimbabwe schools reopen

‘Without a meaningful salary increase, educators have no way of going back to assume their duties.’
Image: Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images Europe

Teachers at state schools in Zimbabwe can’t afford to return to work, three days before classes are set to resume.

The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association declared “a state of incapacitation” for its 43 000 members, citing inadequate pay and the high costs of transport and school fees.

“Without a meaningful salary increase, educators have no way of going back to assume their duties,” Richard Gundane, the association’s president said Friday in an emailed statement.

Zimbabwe has one of the world’s highest inflation rates, driven by a collapse in the value of the nation’s currency. Prices rose almost 61% in January from a year ago.

Government employees in Zimbabwe want to negotiate pay with their employer in U.S. dollars because the value of earnings in Zimbabwe dollars is continuing to decline. The currency has weakened 7.4% this year to 116.65 per dollar, after losing almost a third of its value last year, and changes hands at more than twice that rate on the streets of the capital, Harare.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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