Of Coffee With Back To School

If you were having coffee with me I would welcome you to my tangle words and ask you to grab a seat, be comfortable, but not too comfortable. How have you been keeping?

Uncle of B

Listen, do you hear that? The silence, a house where the kids have left for school… I had begun to miss that and now I can change the TV to something other than cartoons. The pandemic has caused massive disruptions to the school calendar and a week ago they announced schools would be opening starting today i.e. 7 February.

Zimbabwe School Calendar Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education

While the beginning of the first term has been long overdue, the timing is a bit awkward, opening schools just after Januworry month-end, before parents and guardians have had a moment to save or gather up fees and school paraphernalia. The past week has been a whirlwind of activity as people tried to do last-minute school preparations, wouldn’t be surprised if that school rush contributed to the black market rate of the USD shooting up

When I went into town, I paid the equivalent of $1 but my return trip cost me $1.50 and the pirate taxis were telling people who were reluctant to get transport with them that should it get dark or start raining then the fare would increase to $2.

After we had been bundled into a pirate taxi, the driver was laughing as he counted the money we had paid and he exclaimed how we should have refused to pay the inflated fares, if he was a passenger he would refuse to be held hostage by unscrupulous individuals such as himself…. Don’t think that made him feel any compunction to give us back the extra money we had paid, in fact, he had refused to carry a gentleman who had tried to plead that he didn’t have any extra money.

Schools may have opened but wether or not teachers will be there is another question altogether. See, the teachers are not saying they are on strike but rather, they are saying that they are not capacitated to return to work, while today some schools had a regular turnout, reports indicate most had no teachers and in some cases, learners ended up being sent home. Teachers’ Unions are advocating that teachers will not return to schools until teachers start getting a salary of USD$540.

Good morning parents of Zimbabwe. Yes, learners open today. And no, teachers are not opening today. They open on USD540
Progressive Teachers Union Of Zimbabwe @ProgressiveOf

The current teacher’s salary is the equivalent of about $150 using the parallel market rate which no one speaks of but everyone uses. According to Zim Stats the Total Consumptive Poverty Line for one person in January 2022 was ZWL$8 496

ZIm Stats

Understanding the Zimbabwean situation is hard, while the inflation rate figures may have gone down, life has actually gotten more expensive.

Zimbabwe month on month inflation
Consumer Price Index Zimstats

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Headmasters also seem to have joined into the industrial action alongside teachers in pressing the government to pay them in United States dollars, a development that could plunge the first term into chaos.

Headmasters join teachers’ strike
Headmasters join teachers’ strike NewsDay

For the soccer fans, the highlight has been the Africa Cup Of Nations Cup which saw The Lions Of Teranga, that’s the Senagalese national soccer team, square up against Egypt and ultimately winning the cup… and in an interesting turn of events the Man Of The Match title went to the goalkeeper for Egypt and then there was the tactless reporter asking what it meant to win the Man Of Match (even if his team had lost the match)

Man Of The match Gabaski
Man Of The Match Afcon

Looks like mother nature decided to spare southern Africa from a cyclone Batsirai that made landfall in Madagascar a few days ago causing some massive devastation. Life goes on a little easier without the idea of a looming cyclone

Cyclone Batsirai
Cyclone Batsirai: Storm Tracker Cyclocane

Whats been happening in your neck of the woods?

~B

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14 Comments

    1. Welcome to our mickey mouse economy where nobody wants the local currency not even the government (if you recall the post on passports to apply for those you need to pay foreign currency..)
      Cant really blame anyone for that though, if you lived through a time when watch your currency collapse its extremely difficult to get have faith in a local currency especially as you watch the inflation figures set in just like that and funny enough is prices will increase signficantly in local currency will being practically constant in terms of foreign currency, so simple reasoning would mean its best to have your money in another currency.

      Thanks for visiting
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our currency situation is very weird 😅 it’s also made me see that the value of a currency is largely about perception if people have no faith in the system no matter what measures are put in place they won’t work if no one trust them. Trusting the USD on the other hand is easy 😅 albeit super bad for local currency.
        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I predict it will be a domino effect precipitated by a spectacular meltdown in cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and NFTs … From the ashes the gold standard will emerge like a phoenix.

        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

  1. The irony is in Uganda schools opened immediately after new year right from the Christmas mode to school. Parents barely had time to gather themselves.

    Students stjlll adjusting..it’s the university students complaining lectures have stuck online.

    About what’s happening…
    We are surviving somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the best of times parents are never ready in January and yet we still we somehow survive..
      Past has had a bit teething problems with the teachers going on strike but the government has offered a 20% increase in salary while threatening that those who don’t return to work won’t get paid let’s see how this week resolves

      ~B

      Like

  2. I remember Senegal being quite good back in the day so good to hear that they are still going. The best man is not always on the winning team. I hate it when people automatically rule out the losers from the running. It’s a team sport. You lose as a team, but you shine as an individual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We played against Senegal in the group stages and “almost” drew match with a goal being scored in extra time minutes… So people enjoyed a certain comfort in saying see we were eliminated from group stage by a team which won the tournament, a worthy adversary to lose to 🤣🤣🤣
      True true, but for a goal keeper I think the loss sits more heavily as an individual and to win Man Of The Match is a great validation that the loss was not on you.
      Sportsmanship will also make it hard to accept accolades as an individual when the team unit lost.

      PS it also seems like man of match often goes to losing team 🤔 might it be some sort placating mechanism but of course it would make sense that losing team being the one that was under pressure had players who were trying above and beyond to get the advantage while the others would be just maintaining the advantage 🤔🤣🤣 hmmm
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love hearing all those comforting words that people say when their team loses. The ‘we got eliminated by the champions’ is a popular one.

        Interesting you say that. I’ve noticed the opposite – that the individual award goes to the winning team. Good questions you ask. We’re probably just reading too much into it… or not.

        Like

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