Zimsec, fresh row markers

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) and script scorers are heading for another collision as the latter complain that the value of their payments has been eroded by inflation.

Zimsec recently paid examiners their dues for scoring the 2021 Ordinary and Advanced level exams.

Inflation in Zimbabwe is currently considered the highest in the world and when examiners signed contracts for grading O and A level exams earlier this year, the $33,000 agreements were worth $140, but when the government finally paid, it was around $55.

Reportedly, Zimsec is struggling with a financial crisis that has prevented it from paying reviewers on time.

A reviewer who requested anonymity accused the government of deliberately delaying their payment.

“The government doesn’t care or respect us anymore. That’s not what we signed. When we signed that contract, we were supposed to get $140, but now we can’t even afford it. (nothing). They just want to see us suffer. It’s now been over seven months since we signed those contracts,” the reviewer said.

Teachers’ unions told NewsDay yesterday that marker salaries were grossly inadequate.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said their salary was now a travesty.

“These salaries are a travesty of the hard work of our teachers scoring O and A level exams. When they signed that contract, they expected to be paid around $140, but now they are getting something equivalent at $55.

“This is deliberate on the part of Zimsec and the government. It is unfortunate and in the future teachers may choose not to participate in this process. We urge teachers to sign term contracts in the future determined. They can sue them,” says Masaraure.

In a tweet, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said the figures given to examiners caused a sense of shock.

“Zimsec eventually paid the O and A Level markers their dues, about $33,000. When they signed their contracts in February, it was worth US$135. Today it’s US$55. The two numbers cause a sense of shock. Has the profession fallen out of favor so much?” asked PTUZ.

The vice president of the Zimbabwe Educators’ Union, Tapedza Zhou, said the government had not taken teachers seriously.

“It’s disgusting. We are not happy with the salary. It shows how Zimsec and the government are not serious about the welfare of teachers. We say after work we deserve to be paid, and they deliberately postponed the payment of these teachers because they know that after a certain period of time, this money will lose value,” Zhou said.

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