Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday pledged full support for teachers and assured them that the government will continue paying their wages amid COVID-19.
“Even if COVID-19 lasts for 10 years, I assure all teachers that the government will continue paying your monthly wages,” Magufuli said when he officially opened a one-day general meeting of the Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU) in the capital Dodoma.
In a live televised address by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the president said the government’s monthly wage bill stood at about 600 billion Tanzanians shillings (about 259 million United States dollars) and half of it was being used for paying about 267,000 teachers.
“I will never let down my fellow teachers. I have experienced challenges facing teachers across the country,” Magufuli, a former chemistry teacher, told the meeting that brought together 1,138 teachers from different regions.
President Magufuli also hinted that arrangements were afoot to reopen primary and secondary schools which were shut down on March 17 following the outbreak of the viral disease in the east African nation on March 16.
Leah Ulaya, the TTU President, thanked the head of state for supporting the teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, pledging to work hard with integrity in efforts aimed at improving the standard of education in the country.