Never mind that there is a global pandemic and that teachers have been constantly fighting the poverty line for years. Put aside that opening schools under these pressures has irrevocably changed lives for students and their teachers and proceed to ask the latter to borrow money to make it to their poorly-paying job.
“From our daily check of attendance, for the previous week. I haven’t looked at today’s one because it comes around this time. The number of teachers that were coming as compared to the number we were expecting was over 70%. There’s one or two provinces where it is depressed, but generally, we are over 70%. So those who are supposed not to have enough money and whatever. We are hoping by the end of this week they would have borrowed enough money, to go back to work.”Tumisang Thabela, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education
This is one of those things that if video recording and the internet didn’t exist no one would believe. What is truly insensitive about this clip is the laughter at the end. Why would you make light of the suffering of the people who are educating Zimbabwe’s future?
Meet Tumisang Thabela, Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary for Education.— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) September 7, 2021
Her Government underpays teachers, they earn US$100 a month.
She says teachers without bus-fare to come to work are expected by Government to borrow!
This is how things have fallen apart, they just don’t care! pic.twitter.com/NsZaT0Wwvh
Why would you ask teachers to borrow money to make it work? Let’s say for whatever reason a teacher does so. How are they going to pay it back off the peanuts they are earning? Let alone provide for themselves and their families.
This is unacceptable even if it is just a 42-second snapshot of proceedings. There should never be an instance where a govt official, in the face of what people have experienced over the last year, says anything of this nature.