The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
IT was business as usual in most schools in Bulawayo as threats by teachers to go on strike did not materialize after the timely intervention by Government that promised its employees a wholesome review of their working conditions.
Most parents feared that they would find school gates closed following a job action threat by teachers ahead of schools opening for the first term this year on Tuesday.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mrs Tumisang Thabela last week said they were not aware of any strike as the teachers had not formally written to them to inform them that they were downing tools and were expecting it to be business as usual.
The teachers and other civil servants later engaged their employer where promises were made to the effect that their grievances were being looked into.
Government said it was aware of the challenges its workforce was facing due to the economic inconsistencies punctuated by wanton price hikes that have eroded earnings.
A snap survey carried out by this publication showed that schools opened as usual with teachers reporting for duty and pupils admitted as well.
“We took the children to school and all was well, we left them in the classes with their teachers and they did not say anything about striking. We do not know how the day progresses though but the children where in school,” said Mrs Linda Mariano whose daughter attends Coghlan Primary School.
Pupils at Milton Junior were also in school as their teachers showed up for work this morning without any challenges being noted by parents.
Many parents could be seen milling around various school premises as they feared that the pupils would be sent home if teachers had not showed up. Some parents said they had to accompany their young children in fear of this.
“We came with the little ones today because we were not sure if the rumours of a teachers strike were true, so we had to make sure they are in class and settled. We thought if we put them on public transport that carries them during the term and they get to school and there is a strike, they would then get confused on what to do,” said one parent.
Teachers in the western suburbs also turned up for school with parents hoping that the situation would continue to be normal throughput the day.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary education announced recently that they would be adding a compliment of 3000 teachers in to the system to close the teacher shortage gap.
Enrollment was also in the progress for last minute registrations in the city’s schools.