Teachers who  marked last year’s exams have not yet been paid and yet and the Honourable Minister David Coltart promised to pay them within three days of marking.

Four and a half months have since elapsed since that promise was made and markers  haven’t received even a cent.The Minister had actually committed himself and put the promise in black and white. Teachers feel  that the Minister should desist from making unsubstantiated statements if he is to retain any shred of credibility.

"As Zimbabweans, we should also be wary of some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), which seem to be on a mission to divide us.UNICEF paid some of the examiners in full the amounts they were owed and left out the rest in the cold.It would have been better if they had left us alone and united, rather than fragment us by enriching some by rewarding them their dues and condemn the rest of us in abject poverty.Now that the results are out, the Minister is on cloud nine, but the backdrop of teachers who toiled for the whole month working on marking exams so they could be released have gone without their outstanding due rewards." said one teacher in a letter to Manica post.

In the meantime the Sunday News reported that the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) last week donated textbooks to 465 schools in Masvingo Province among other commitments as efforts to get the education system of the country back to its feet through partnerships gathers momentum.

In a telephone interview from Masvingo last Wednesday, the acting provincial education director, Ms Clara Taridzo Dube, confirmed receiving textbooks enough for 465 primary schools in the province.She said the books were going to benefit schools in six of the seven districts in the province although she could not be drawn into stating the value of the books donated.

“We received textbooks, chalks, ballpoints, exercise books and plan books for teachers from UNICEF. It is known that there were no textbooks in the schools and we really appreciate the kind gesture that our partners have shown in trying to uplift the standards of education in the country.

“That we were facing problems of reading material in schools was no longer a secret. Very few schools not only in Masvingo Province but countrywide had enough textbooks.

“We believe it is in the pipeline that the secondary schools will also receive something to read as the problem cut across the board,” said Ms Dube.

She said while Masvingo district was left out, Bikita, Gutu, Chiredzi, Chivi, Mwenezi and Zaka districts received the books with Gutu district receiving the largest number.Ms Dube said some of the districts in the province were being assisted by other partners such as World Vision, Plan International, Care Zimbabwe and Cadec that are assisting schools especially in the Lowveld and in Mwenezi with various donations.Ms Dube added that UNICEF also provided transport to ferry the books to the respective schools in the various districts.

She said UNICEF made several commitments to support the education sector, among them the provision of accommodation for teachers, classrooms and furniture to schools in the country. Ms Dube, however, lamented the lack of shelter and furniture in schools in resettlement areas where she said pupils and teachers were still conducting lessons under trees.

She paid tribute to teachers who were teaching in schools in resettlement areas, saying despite receiving the US$100 allowance, they were being driven by the spirit of dedication to perform their work.

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