Parents want money back from teachers

MUTARE Scores parents with children at Dangare primary school in Sakubva high residential suburb this week besieged the institution demanding they get restitution from teachers on strike who they paid incentives.

The parents, singing solidarity church hymns, overran the schools staff room, and cornered a senior school teacher only identified as Mr Nduku. One of the demonstrating parents, who identified herself as Hazel Makarau, told The Zimbabwean, she was angry at the teachers who, after receiving their incentive money, chose to join the nationwide civil servants strike.

We thought that since they are getting our incentives they would not join the strike action. Now we want refunds from the school authorities, she fumed. The parents claimed they paid US$5 per child as an incentive to the teachers.

All the teachers here were paid our money and each got US$100 in incentives and we are now faced with a no show from the teachers, said Makarau. Johannes Dube, another parent, said the parents were to blame for taking something that was the governments responsibility into their hands. We started something which we could not sustain and look now, we are trouble. We have lost our hard earned cash from this strike as our children are not in class and the teachers are on strike. We now want our money back, said Dube.

Nduku confirmed the teachers had been paid the incentives through the parents contribution, but would not say much, referring further enquiries to the school headmaster. Yes, the parents contributed toward the incentives the teachers asked for. The incentives were paid, but the teachers wanted US$200, not US$100, he said. Civil servants are on an indefinite strike demanding a salary increment of US$630 a month from the current US$150. Negotiations with the workers representatives and the government have failed, resulting in the civil servants calling for an indefinite job action.

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