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Zimbabwe's Teachers Threaten New Strike If Wage Demands Not Met


Zimbabwe's primary and secondary school teachers are threatening to go back out on strike if their pay is not increased by the time the new school term begins in two weeks time.

General Secretary Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said Wednesday teachers must be paid at least US$780 a month to return to classrooms.

Majongwe told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that teachers have been patient with the new national unity government that was put in place just eight weeks ago, but are finding it ever more difficult to survive.

Zimbabwean teachers were out on strike for much of last year, returning early this year when the government promised to address pay issues. School schedules in Zimbabwe were also seriously disrupted by the wave of post-election violence in April-June of 2008.

Meanwhile, relief is in sight for parents who cannot come up with state school fees that can run to US$150 per term - a considerable sum these days in Zimbabwe. Many are only able to meet the education costs thanks to remittances from relatives in the diaspora.

Education Minister David Coltart said families without the means to pay fees can apply to the school their children are attending seeking a waiver of fees.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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