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Student teachers petition Parly over allowances

STUDENT teachers have petitioned Parliament to push the President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government to raise their monthly allowances currently pegged at $150, which translates to less than US$2 using the auction rate.

In a petition dated October 19, 2020, cosigned by Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz)'s secretary for unemployed, student and retired teachers, Takemore Mhlanga and Walter Muzamhani, the student teachers said they were poorly paid despite assuming full teaching responsibilities.

Part of the petition read: "The student teachers on teaching practice continue to receive a monthly allowance of $150. As at $150 which is almost 5% to the salary of the lowest paid qualified teacher.

"It should be noted that student teachers are being assigned a full load in the classroom as schools battle to plug the gap of staff shortage. Student teachers are adults who have to cater for all living expenses."

The student teachers said they had become an embarrassment to the teaching profession.

"Student teachers are no longer respected in communities. They have become beggars. They beg for almost everything from neighbours, for instance, mealie-meal, cooking oil, toothpaste, salt and even body lotion. Things that should be readily accessible and affordable to them have become unaffordable. If such necessities become scarce to student teachers it will jeopardise the discharge of their duties."

Teacher's allowance on teaching practice to 80% of the salary of the lowest-paid qualified teacher. Backdate the agreed allowance to February 2020 when the first petition was handed over ... set up a board representing student teacher's welfare ... teaching practice allowance be reviewed in tandem with the qualified teachers' salary reviews ... and pay full monthly allowance for the first and last months of the teaching practice tenure".

Artuz president Obert Masaraure said: "We hope that government will take heed of our petition and address the plight of the student teachers. It is an urgent matter."

Student teachers on teaching practice used to receive 70% of what the lowest-paid qualified teacher earned before their allowances were reduced to $150 in 2016 and never reviewed until now.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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