UK and Zimbabwe should have an agreement to protect teachers, says Teachers4ED
Teachers for ED (Economic Development), has urged the government to enter into a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom government to protect teachers from possible human trafficking.
The UK government had listed Zimbabwean teachers as eligible for a qualified teacher status (QTS) in that country with effect from February 1 next year.
But in a statement seen by NewsDay, Teachers for ED, a shadowy group formed to prop up President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 2023 electoral campaign, believes human trafficking is a possibility. The group said:
Regarding this new development, Trs4ED is of the view that government needs to intervene so that those teachers willing to take up the offer are protected from the jaws of human traffickers, incidents of irregular migration and being ripped off by the so-called visa sponsors.
In this regard, Trs4ED is set to engage with the government of Zimbabwe; particularly the Primary and Secondary Education ministry (MoPSE) and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry to ensure that a system is developed that protects our teachers from trafficking, human smuggling, human organs trafficking among other transnational crimes.
The group called for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or some form of a bilateral agreement between the government of Zimbabwe and the UK so that ‘our teachers are protected, respected and the profession remains dignified.
Our view is to push for a similar agreement between Rwanda and Zimbabwe that saw teachers working in Rwanda. Lastly, Trs4ED can be represented in the diaspora where economic development projects are implemented back in our motherland.
Educators Union of Zimbabwe President Tafadzwa Munodawafa said this was a ploy to restrict teachers from working in the UK.
Munodawafa said the government should not introduce stringent measures to deter those who want to leave the country to seek greener pastures.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure said the government should pay a competitive salary to prevent teacher mass exodus.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Ptuz) president Takavafira Zhou said the government needs to ensure that teachers are motivated as the employment of teachers by neighbouring countries and the UK might end up compromising the quality of education in the country.