TEACHERS who have been absconding from work risk action being taken against them as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is now demanding the list of all those who have not been reporting for duty since the reopening of schools in September.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has directed the ministry to take appropriate action against those teachers who are not reporting for duty and apply the principle of “No work no pay”.
Provincial Education Directors have been directed to gather attendance information including names of teachers at all the schools and submit it to Head Office every Friday until further notice.
Primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe closed in March, just a week before the end of the first term following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the relaxation of Covid-19 regulations, Government reopened schools in phases starting with examination classes — Grade 7, Form Four and Six which opened on September 28. All teachers were supposed to report for duty with effect from the date but some did not citing incapacitation.
On October 26 Grade Six, Form Three and Five reopened and the last group is reopening on Monday.
According to a memorandum from Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela all provincial education directors and schools authorities should submit names of teachers who have not been reporting for duty since September 28.
“Please refer to the attached minute from the Public Service Commission on the above-mentioned subject dated 26 October 2020 (Submission of names of teachers not reporting for duty since 28 September 2020). The Public Service Commission has requested for details of teachers that have not reported for duty since the opening of Phase 1 classes on 28 September 2020 in the format prescribed in the template provided,” wrote Mrs Thabela.
She said while provinces and districts have been submitting attendance statistics for teachers and learners to the Command Centres, these did not have names.
“In view of the above, Provincial Education Directors are hereby directed to submit the details of teachers that have been absent from duty for the period 28 September to 6 November to Head Office through their respective Human Resources Directors by end of day Wednesday, 11 November for onward submission to Public Service Commission,” said Mrs Thabela.
“Henceforth, Provincial Education Directors are further directed to gather attendance information including names of teachers at all the schools and submit to Head Office every Friday until further notice.”
The PSC said it noted with concern that from September 28 to date, some teachers in schools that have Zimsec Examination classes have not been reporting for duty.
“The Commission is therefore directing the ministry to take appropriate action against those teachers who are not reporting for duty on the bases of the Public Service regulations as well as the ‘No work no pay’ principle,” said PSC secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe.
Responding to the latest developments, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu said the approach by PSC is unreasonable as Government and the teachers are in salary negotiations aimed at finding a lasting solution to the educators’ incapacitation.
“This development by PSC smacks of intimidation and is a direct threat to the public educators. Its not like they have been absent by choice but have been and are still incapacitated as we speak. We have been in salary negotiation and thought we were on the road to finding a lasting solution but before we know it, there is this sad development by PSC unless they are saying no one is listening to us anymore,” he said.