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Other Articles from The Villager

Teachers deserve better!

Mon, 12 September 2016 14:57
by Linekela Halwoodi
News Flash

Government should really be armed for what’s coming its way, when the teacher saga blows up. Although the vote on whether to embark upon an industrial action or not which was taken last week could have gone either way, and with that government still stands to lose out because of the way it handled the plight of teachers.
Can we really say that teachers are asking for more than they deserve? A mere 8%, just enough to cover for the damage done by inflation, as an addition to a measly salary of a state employee who greatly contributes to grooming human resources. Government does of course not have to be bored with the ‘we are the shapers of the country’s future’ cliché but government needs to understand that it has poorly handled the plight of the teachers.
Government has not even realised that they are putting the future of many pupils who should be getting ready for the final grade 12 and 10 exams at risk by playing their usual delay tactic as a way of avoiding a pressing issue.
Poor planning has been at play with the case of teachers, I mean let us just think about it. Is it really not predictable the lobbyist of teachers’ rights would start to apply much greater pressure when we approach the end of the year?
It is also not a surprise that teachers ask for an increase when this have been a recurring thing.
What reasons does government really have not to approve the requested increase if the crème de la crème of MPs are now able to enjoy an increase in their wages or allowances?
Are these not both state employees regardless of their rating on the hierarchy?
Government really let the goose run wild when it tried to explain the reasons behind it not being able to grant the 8% increase. Yes, we are experiencing financial difficulties. Yes, we also understand that much of state funding had to be diverted to the combating of drought related issues, but that in itself exactly paints the perfect picture of how unorganised the state is.
Government should also leave out its excuses of “we are in a financial fix”. However, this coated with “teachers are greedy” and so forth. A very reckless move on the state’s part as this did nothing but added fuel to the already threatening fire.
The drought is not a new issue. For  Peter’s sake we live in an arid desert country where the drought is a recurring thing. Why exactly were we not ready for this? Now we are digging into funds that should go to functions that are more pressing.
We are currently busy building a dam in southern Namibia and that move in itself explains why we are in a fix right now. It is simple that government very often finds it hard to identify cases that should be highly prioritised. We need to ask the question to whether this was really a priority at this time. These questions we can also answer by assessing whether the construction of this dam has really created job opportunities for the people in that region? The construction of the colossal dam is so far best known for the number of industrial actions and allegations of abuse from the southerners.
None of this can be linked to a positive outcome however it was prioritised? Again we need to ask if are blindly moving forward without a plan.
It is high time government instills some confidence in the people by showing even an ounce of planning. It should be a thing of the past now that all operations in the country come to a standstill because of the drought.
The drought is not new to Namibia, and we should have been better prepared for it.
The day we learn to manage our affairs with a little bit more diligence and priority will be the day we will be able to put behind crises overlapping.
A piece of advice for the Government crème de la crème. Next year the teachers and civil servants will be coming back for more increments. Chances that we will be feeling the effects of the current drought, if not a prolonged drought situation is real. And there is no reason to believe that the financial situation will change for the better. So start planning now and stop playing Russian roulette with the lives of innocent kids every time you have to negotiate salaries of teachers. This was not the first time. And surely not the last time. Start to plan in advance.