HARARE - Zimbabwe's schools are opening on Monday after being shut for six months, but teachers say they're embarking on strike and won't be in class.
In March, the Zimbabwe government shut down schools to contain the spread of COVID-19.
One of the country's largest teachers' unions, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said the government must increase teachers' salaries before they enter classrooms.
Zimbabwe's teachers currently receive a total of 11,000 Zimbabwe dollars, or R1,710 a month, including COVID-19 allowances.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymon Majongwe said, "as far as we are concerned, teachers cannot simply turn up for duty because they don't have money."
"You can't go and sell your goats, your sheep, your chickens to go to your workstation where you are not going to get the same return. We are simply saying to the government, we are not fighting you, we are not against you, but give us what we're worth. We are professionals worth the dignity and worth the respect. We can't become a laughing stock in the region.
The union leader also said many Zimbabwe teachers have died because of the stress of not being able to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe government said enough personal protective equipment is available for pupils and teachers.
It says schools are ready to open without any fear of a COVID-19 outbreak in schools.