The Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema lacks proper planning. It was important that the key actor, teachers, were agreeable to opening schools.
Without these actors, nothing will happen. Walls can’t teach our children, headmasters cannot teach our children alone, neither do the education officers have a direct teaching input of our children, it is that impoverished teachers, the one who is heavily underpaid.
This is the actor that is important.
Mathema might think hiring temporary teachers is the solution, it’s not it, we must nip the problem in the bud, reward the teachers and they will attend lessons.
How in this era can a teacher be earning less than US$40, while a student teacher is paid US$1,35?
We are not serious as a nation.
And this is the crux of the matter, the salaries of teachers is too low.
It does not capacitate them to commute to and from work, neither does it allow them to buy groceries. Shockingly, ancillary staff, the groundsmen, school bursars and cleaners, earn better than the headmaster and his teachers.
Does it mean that teachers have an employer who does not care for their welfare? Does it mean their employment councils have strong bargaining power to compromise the earnings pendulum? Food for thought Mathema.
As a nation, we are not ready to reopen schools yet. The learners writing examinations have not earnt anything yet. They are raw.
We are planning for very poor examination results.
Moreover my country men, the rural leaners are the worst affected. It has been two weeks since schools opened and yet there are no teachers and no lessons happening.
Our boarding children are requested to pay US$10 per child to get lessons by the teachers that have braved to get to their workstations. My thinking is that their presence at the schools is to milk the children.
Teaching is a noble profession, not slavery. It is time that government recognise teaching and it’s time to put value on it and reward the profession appropriately. Everyone in Cabinet is where they are because of a teacher.
Every industry leader is there because of that teacher who took his or her time to mould our learning capacity. Lest we forget.