The Observer: Our teachers are a disgrace

SHARE   |   Monday, 30 January 2017   |   By Simon Gabathuse

It is not even about the new grading system. Our school examination results have been pathetic for a long time now. They have been so embarrassing before the new grading system. We need to be honest to the situation. Our teachers are a disgrace. Being unable to engage robustly the teachers and the education sector in totality on these matters is essentially brewing a culture of excuses. These teachers are doing a terrible job and finding excuses for them every year when results of examinations are released should not be tolerated anymore. They must explain what they have done. We need as a nation to play a significant role in unifying an all vital motive forces towards the struggle of Free Quality Education for the children of this country. But we can only do this by being fair, frank and open and pointing out the problem. Though it is true that the domestic socio-economic status quo of some students is a hindrance to their educational progress, these are very few instances that are easily identifiable. The rest of everything is not a fault of anyone but the teachers themselves.

The truth must be told that the education infrastructure has improved significantly. The teachers have demanded that they be governed like any other civil servant and so be allowed the 8-hours per day work schedule and such has been granted. Teachers have demanded that they should not be forced nor obliged to supervise the extra curriculum activities and such has been granted. That has been granted to the detriment of developing sporting fraternities, the arts and other modes essential for the all-round socialisation and culturalisation of our children. We did as nation sat aside and watched as teachers celebrated that which was a pain to us and our children. It is not that we as parents were not feeling the pain and future anguish. The teachers have demanded the scare skills allowance and they are being paid for that as per their demands. It must be pointed out that it is coming out to be an erroneous practice to be paying them scare skills allowance when their scare skills is taking this  country to the drain. They are not utilising their scare skills to produce better and acceptable results. They have opted to spend time enjoying the money than preparing for the classes. They can’t be telling us that they prepare for classes because we are aware that they rush out at the earliest convenient time to drink and do associated drinking pleasures only to rock up the next day tired, uninterested and totally not willing to engage in teaching.

The number of cases involving improper relations between students and teachers is so huge and painful to think about. These are the same people we want to make excuses for when our students do terribly at exam time. It is not possible that students can do better at exam time when they have not been taught. 
Teachers are civil servants, actually, paid more than all the other civil servants and continuing to make excuses for them when they are not delivering is unfair to the rest of the public service. Other civil servants have to toil hard day in and day out serving queues and queues without end. From 7am to 430pm other civil servants are feeling the pinch of not having the luxury of numerous breaks without a class whilst teachers have the time to go get a bed rest at teachers houses situated within the schools. We also do meet these teachers at shopping malls and liquor places at times of work when we are on leave and they are not and supposed to be working. They are simply not doing what they have to be doing. They are not only lazy they are also not focused and have no interest in teaching. To blow the same whistle, a whistle of denial and excuses every year, blaming the ministry, blaming parents, blaming infrastructure is what keeps us in the same debate and argument year in and year out. These teachers are useless. But we must welcome the magnificent work that is currently done by a few of our teachers who have found a need in them to do their work and produce amazing results. Such schools have been mentioned and these schools are within the same country and within the same ministry. This is a small number though. The rest is just some lazy characters waiting for pay day. They forget that we are parents when we are with them at various places. They mention to us that they dislike teaching. It is the same lot who when results come out are quick to find some silly, stupid and irrational excuses as to why the students are performing badly.

We schooled at a time when the public education system was a total mess. We didn’t have qualified teachers. We had volunteers. We had very old men and women who were doing it for the nation. We did not have the infrastructure that we have today. The salaries were a disgrace. The walking distance to schools was unbearable. Yet the same public education system produced men and women of repute who are running this country at government level either as civil servants or politicians. Most of our corporate people come from the same public education system. The businessmen and women we have are products of the old public education system that did not have resources. When all that has improved as it has, we have some who want to create imaginary problems and fabrications in a bid to shift the blame. Our problem is with the teachers. It is clear that we have a few teachers in our country who are led by the spirit of selflessness to do their roles and are aware that it is their duty to wake up each day to teach students and not hide behind some unexplained and misplaced theories of welfare. Such schools have over the years continued to refuse the silly explanations that lazy mamas and lazy papas are accustomed to. We must be honest that teachers are amongst the most well taken care of in our nation. Civil servants pay for their own accommodation. Teachers get such for free and in little instances at subsidized rates. They have work stations; they don’t crowd in offices like other civil servants. Teachers have many schemes that they use to empower themselves and make their lives better. They have so ample opportunities that they have even forgot that the rest of the civil service is struggling to make ends meet. They have the easiest and comfortable progression. They are simply given top notches for nothing. But they are unable to be thankful, simply through doing their jobs. We must as a nation say it out that history has taught us that the more you give teachers, the more they get lazy, unproductive and pathetic. It is not like we are talking about people from Jupiter or any other planet. We are talking about people that we see and meet every day in the society. The problem must be said out. The problem is not the teachers. So much has been given to the teachers and nothing except poor results have been attained. It will not be correct to continue same trend of excuses and pretending that we want a solution. We know our problem, it is the teachers. Nobody knows what they want anymore. They complain about something new every day, yet they are unable to produce a single merit! Sis!
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