The Zimbabwean government recently took a step to support teachers on its payroll by announcing an extension of allowances to pay for school fees for biological children of teaching parents in both primary and secondary schools. This move was made after extensive consultation with the Joint National Negotiating Council in 2022. Teachers and the government have been embroiled in salary tussles for the past couple of years and the latest move is meant to placate them.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has outlined that the school fees allowance will cater to a maximum of three biological children of teaching parents, providing much-needed relief for families who have been struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of education. The PSC has also revealed that as of January 4, 2023, the Salary Service Bureau had already processed a staggering $ 827 ZWL million to support 41 194 children of 18 794 teaching parents through the School Fees Allowance.
Going forward, the PSC has announced specific dates by which time the applications for the 2023 school fees allowance must reach the PSC District, Provincial or Head Office. For 2023 the applications for fees payment must have reached the district and provincial public service commission offices by these dates:
- 1st term by January 30, 2023
- 2nd term by May 15, 2023
- 3rd term by September 11, 2023
It is important to note that late applications will not be processed and applicants must ensure that their applications are submitted by the specified dates.
A complete application must include:
- Completed Application Form
- Certified copy of the National Identity Card of the Applicant
- Certified copy/copies of Birth Certificate(s) for biological child/children
- Proof of Enrolment of child/children from the school they attend
The Zimbabwean government’s recent announcement to extend allowances to pay for school fees for children of teaching parents in both primary and secondary schools may seem like a positive step, but it highlights the ongoing financial struggles faced by educators in the country. Despite their crucial role in shaping the future of Zimbabwe’s youth, teachers have long been underpaid and undervalued, with most of their salaries paid in ZWL, a currency that has been losing value at an alarming rate.
As of now, the ZWL is trading at $1,200 ZWL to 1 USD, causing prices to soar and making it increasingly difficult for educators to make ends meet. This lack of adequate compensation and support from the government has put educators in a dire situation and more needs to be done to support and value these essential members of society. The government’s decision to extend allowances for school fees is a step in the right direction, but it’s important to remember that it is just a small bandage on a deep wound. It is time for the government to take further action to support and value the hardworking educators who shape the future of Zimbabwe’s youth or risk losing them to the diaspora.