Home » Governance » Ministry Bans Incentives

Government has banned payment of incentives to teachers by parents and guardians. This is likely to put Government on a collision course with teachers, whose union leaders said they were not consulted.

Incentives were formalised in 2009 by then Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart to motivate teachers to work despite low salaries.

They, however, became a divisive issue as they only worked in a small proportion of schools, mainly in urban areas where parents could afford to pay teachers extra.

Some teachers in rural areas never received incentives from 2009, while there were clashes between school heads and educators who said the money was being abused and not reaching the latter.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora on Tuesday confirmed the scrapping of incentives on the sidelines of the 33rd Zimbabwe Teachers Association conference in Harare.

He said while incentives had played a critical role at a critical juncture, it was time for them to go.

“There is no justification for their payment. Their payment is not consistent with the educational values they are meant to be servicing,” he said.

Minister Dokora earlier told delegates that a circular outlawing incentives had been sent to all schools.

Minister Dokora recently told The Herald that the ministry held wide-ranging consultations on the effects of incentives on quality.

But Zimta chief executive Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said Government had not consulted them and educators would not recognise the circular.

“I have not gone through that circular but this reveals that the ministry is not transparent and intellectually honest.

“As stakeholders we should have been a participant.

“In the absence of that and as representatives of teachers, we will continue to deny the existence of that circular until we have a delivery of that in our hands as a union.

“We still hold on the 2009 circular number 5 that legalised incentives,” he said.

Teachers’ unions say the long-term solution is to improve conditions of service.

Source : The Herald

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