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Zimbabwe's children idle as schools buckle under crisis

Like an orchestra without a conductor: this is how mother Sharon Mpofu describes Zimbabwe's once proud education system, now in tatters tat·ter 1  
n.
1. A torn and hanging piece of cloth; a shred.

2. tatters Torn and ragged clothing; rags.

tr. & intr.v.
 as a political crisis rages around the country's children.

While parents and children around the region proudly geared up for a new school year, many new school books in Zimbabwe remain crisp and unused as Mpofu and other weary parents didn't even bother to send their children to school.

"Why bother myself when there are no teachers. It's like having an orchestra without a conductor," she said. "If I could afford it, I could be sending my children to private schools or be engaging a private tutor at my home."

Getting the school year off the ground in Zimbabwe has been a rocky affair, as teachers launched straight into a strike over their salaries, some of which are worth three US dollars a month due to galloping inflation.

While children were turned away from some schools, others milled around playing games or waited hopefully in classrooms.

Many youngsters still seemed jovial (Jules' Own Version of the International Algebraic Language) An ALGOL-like programming language developed by Systems Development Corp. in the early 1960s and widely used in the military. Its key architect was Jules Schwartz.  at the prospect of starting school, while older children hung their heads in despair at the prospect of another term without teachers.

Nearly 80 percent of the country's remaining teachers heeded the call to strike said Raymond Majongwe, head of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ PTUZ Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe ).

Many Zimbabwean teachers have fled to neighbouring countries in recent years because of the low salaries.

"Teachers are sending a clear message that we are suffering. Government must start engaging us positively," Majongwe told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol. .

That may be difficult as Zimbabwe remains embroiled em·broil  
tr.v. em·broiled, em·broil·ing, em·broils
1. To involve in argument, contention, or hostile actions: "Avoid . . .
 in a political crisis since failed elections in March last year failed to yield a government.

Despite an agreement by President Robert Mugabe Mugabe redirects here.

For other uses, see Mugabe (disambiguation).
Robert Gabriel Mugabe KCB (born on February 21, 1924) is the President of Zimbabwe.[1] He has been the head of government in Zimbabwe since 1980, first as Prime Minister[2]
 and rival Morgan Tsvangirai Morgan Tsvangirai (IPA: /ˈmɔ(r)gən ˌtsvaŋgiˈra.i/) (the 's' and the 'v' are coärticulated) born March 10, 1952) is a Trade unionist,Human rights activist, Democrat and President of the mainstream  to share power, the two have yet to set up a government.

Once a regional breadbasket, Zimbabwe has seen its economy collapse in recent years with hyperinflation Hyperinflation

Extremely rapid or out of control inflation.

Notes:
There is no precise numerical definition to hyperinflation. This is a situation where price increases are so out of control that the concept of inflation is meaningless.
, widespread unemployment and at least 80 percent of the population living below the poverty line.

Zimbabwean teachers were this month paid 26 trillion Zimbabwe dollars, worth just three US dollars on the parallel market where most currency trading is done.

Teachers went on strike for the greater part of 2008 and are demanding monthly salaries that would amount to 2,200 US dollars (1,670 euros) before they will return to work.

Schools have proposed charging fees in foreign currency as the Zimbabwe dollar loses value every day.

"Teachers are prepared to take hard line stance this time, enough is enough. All we are saying to parents is that they won't be any learning," said Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).

At some boarding schools It may never be fully completed or, depending on its its nature, it may be that it can never be completed. However, new and revised entries in the list are always welcome. , pupils are expected to bring cooking oil, ground maize, salt, sugar and beans for meals during the term.

The state owned Herald reported Tuesday that some schools have entered into agreement to pay teachers in groceries to retain them as the government is still to make a decision whether to pay teachers in foreign currency.

Students at the University of Zimbabwe The University of Zimbabwe (UZ), is the first and largest university in Zimbabwe. It was founded through a special relationship with the University of London and it opened its doors to its first students in 1952.  were also asked to return home Tuesday while those at Harare Polytechnic were being asked to pay 575 US dollars (instead of six trillions Zimbabwe dollars or two US dollars on the parallel market) per term, which many described as exorbitant.

"Nowadays children spend days doing absolutely nothing at home," said father of three Lawrence Mhida, 60. "Our children will not learn this year if teachers demands are not met."
Copyright 2009 AFP Global Edition
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Jan 28, 2009
Words:575
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