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Charamba blames ‘MDC’ teachers for zero pass rate in Matabeleland rural schools

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  • Charamba further accused the pupils themselves of being lazy at times. When challenged that rural schools lack proper learning resources and facilities that encourage teachers to stay, Charamba said he went to a poor school but still made it to university through sheer dedication...

By Mutsa Makuvaza & Nompumelelo Sibanda

PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson George Charamba has torched a fierce storm after he blamed teachers for the poor performance of pupils in the recently released Grade 7 results, saying the educators are “organized” by the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance into striking and sabotaging learning.

The results show that 9 of the top 10 ranked schools are in Harare while Bulawayo does not have a school in the top 40. The 10 worst schools (0% pass rate) are in Matabeleland, 88 schools countrywide recorded a 0% pass rate.

Announcing the results this Friday, ZIMSEC Board Chairperson, Professor Eddy Mwenje said this year’s pass rate decreased by 9.79 per cent. Professor Mwenje attributed a decrease in the pass rate to the Covid-19 pandemic which affected learning for much of the year 2020 and even delayed exam sittings.

However, Charamba said Sartuday that the blame for poor results lies squarely on the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), which actively calls for teachers’ strike over what it says are poor wages and working conditions.

Mabasa eARTUZ,” said Charamba, meaning the blame is on the teacher’s labour body.

Charamba further accused the pupils themselves of being lazy at times. When challenged that rural schools lack proper learning resources and facilities that encourage teachers to stay, Charamba said he went to a poor school but still made it to university through sheer dedication.

“That (resources) won’t compensate for teacher indiscipline! I went to Chikuvire School where there was no power. I passed well enough to go to University. Chikuvire only got electrified – THROUGH MY EFFORTS BY THE WAY – after Independence! No easy excuses!” Charamba declared.

However, ARTUZ would have none of it and accused Charamba of “waffling” while not encouraging policy formulation that improves working conditions for teachers.

“Pay teachers a living wage. Introduce an education equalisation fund. Pay rural retention and attraction allowance for teachers. Think of policy changes kwete kungowawata,” ARTUZ has said.

But Charamba said teachers who defied calls for strikes by ARTUZ produced good results in the 2020 exams, but did not specify such schools by name.

“There are many rural schools whose teachers defied ARTUZ who delivered good results. Let’s not argue from empty theories. We have statistics.”

He further labelled ARTUZ as an “irresponsible pseudo-union behind which MDC organizes”.

Some of the schools which achieved zero pass rate. Source: ZIMSEC

Meanwhile, candidates who sat for the results will be able to collect their results from their centres starting Monday while online results can be accessed beginning this Saturday. — Zimbabwe Voice.

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