Takemore is a rural school teacher, a union leader, and community organizer from Zimbabwe.
Movement: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)
Takemore is a young rural teacher working in conditions of poor infrastructure and low salaries in Zimbabwe. He believes that “teacher’s rights are not respected and this ends up affecting the learning environment”. Unhappy about this situation, he decided to join the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), whereby he works together with other teachers to achieve and defend labor rights.
However, this was not the first step in his journey. As a university student, he was elected as the Student Representative Council President of Mutare Teachers’ College in 2014.
As Takemore recalls, it was a period "where we fought for our academic freedom and students’ rights at the college".
After graduation, he spent 2 years without employment, yet he did not abandon his activism and commitment to education. His journey made him discover that it is the government's duty to employ graduates after completing their education as teachers. With the courage and support of colleagues, he started the Unemployed Teachers Association (UTA) whose main aim was to find jobs for recently graduated teachers. He discovered that it was vital to generate spaces for the Parent-Teacher Association (PTAs) to emerge and work together as a community to push for reforms in the education sector.
“This program has been a huge success as parents are now more engaged and helped push for the amendment of the Education Act by the Parliament of Zimbabwe” narrates Takemore.
His journey as an activist continues as he finds more spaces to engage the community in education transformation. The social media campaigns #SaveOurEducationZw and #545challenge are living examples of the use of digital activism to improve the conditions of rural communities. Furthermore, ARTUZ has successfully offered civic education to 1,200 teachers and 525 community members focusing on digital literacy, labour law, leadership, Climate Change, and Human Rights, among others.
Initiative: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)