Union fumes as teacher ordered to invigilate Covid-19 positive candidate

By Auther Chimbgwa

A Masvingo school teacher was Tuesday forced to invigilate a Covid-19 positive examination candidate, inviting angry protest from the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ).

The incident is a culmination of an ongoing impasse between authorities and teachers unions over the entire handling of the current public examinations invigilation process.

In a statement Wednesday, PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou bemoaned the “arrogant and inconsiderate” manner displayed by Zimsec and the Education ministry in exposing teachers to Covid-19.

The firebrand union leader said the “commandist” approach by both Zimsec and the Ministry in handling the controversial invigilation of public examination has reached a dangerous stage as teachers were ordered to invigilate Covid-19 positive candidates without any protective gear.

“The Mucheke High School episode in Masvingo today (yesterday) is a case in point. DSI, Chigaba was adamant that teachers must invigilate a Covid-19 positive private candidate at the school,” said Zhou.

He added that such arrogance did not prioritise the health and safety of teachers and pupils.

“There is need for Covid-19 candidates to write examinations from quarantine centres and to be invigilated by professional health officials who can ensure maximum protection in the contact with candidates and packaging of examination scripts,” Zhou said.

Zhou charged that his organisation had an obligation to represent teachers and would never be silenced when the rights of educators were stifled and their lives endangered.

He reiterated that teachers must accordingly be paid for invigilating public examinations.

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