Social media is already inundated with videos of our teenagers is school uniform engaging in team sex. This is very sad indeed
By Nhamo Muchagumisa
It may not be surprising that teachers have decided not to execute their noble duties as a result of incapacitation, but the measures being taken by various schools and parents associations may create more problems instead of resolving the single problem which is the incapacitation of teachers.
Levying parents to pay teacher incentives will shift the conflict from government versus teachers to parents against school development committees and/or responsible authorities.
Let public service and teachers resolve their differences pragmatically without draining the parents.
Teacher incentives are normally the initiative of economically empowered parents who then try to influence relevant school authorities to convert their ideas into policy without even interogating the constitutionality of their proposed remedies.
When it comes to education in Zimbabwe, government is the key stakeholder and any policy outside government’s jurisdiction may be blatantly scandalous.
School development committees have hiked fees by more than 500% and still expect parents to pay 10 to 20 US dollars for teacher incentives.
The SDCs are being influenced by a tiny segment of society that believes that parents can assume the role of paying teachers without them feeling the pinch.
Incapacitation spells doom for the intellectual health of our children
The disempowerment of our teachers is a major anomaly in a modern society.
These people must just donate to government for the benefit of the nation, otherwise their designs are meant to make education inaccessible to the majority of learners.
Most Zimbabweans on regular salary saw their economic fortunes dwindling during total lockdown, yet a few fortunate people believe that every parent is able to pay the proposed incentives.
Asking parents to pay teacher incentives is like bribing the teachers to serve only the intellectual needs of children from one social class, while neglecting those from the lower class that constitutes the majority.
Why in the first place did government take over the role of paying teachers in both government schools and mission schools? Was it not because parents could not pay?
It defies logic to think that at this point in time, and with the current economic challenges, parents are now able to pay teachers.
Government, however, needs to consider the incapacitation of teachers with the urgency it deserves. Their incapacitation spells doom for the intellectual health of our children.
Imagine, no meaningful intellectual activity has started since the examination classes returned to school end of last month.
It is a double tragedy, economic incapacitation for our teachers, and intellectual incapacitation for our children.
Because of the meagre salaries teachers earn, they are often held to ridicule, even by their immediate clients.How then can a teacher inspire confidence in the learner when his or her situation is so pathetic?
Dispowerment of the teachers
Imagine a nation in which a teacher cannot afford to buy a stand in an urban set up, let alone develop it.
Teachers have been relegated to perennial lodgers, sometimes renting accommodation at the very homes of some of their learners. The disempowerment of our teachers is a major anomaly in a modern society.
Government might not afford the $520 teachers’ unions are demanding, but there is need for Government to look the problem in the eye.
When the nation went into lockdown, the exchange rate was ZW$30 to US$1, now the official rate is ZW81 to US1. Teachers have been earning the same salary since.
There is need to review their salaries proportionately with the fall of the local unit, with or without prior negotiations.
The government banned teacher incentives in 2014 after seriously considering how degrading it ought to be for parents to play a role in the remuneration of teachers, and we cannot expect government to allow schools to reintroduce teacher incentives.
Future of our children in jeopardy
It is my humble opinion that the government needs to take the education of our juveniles more seriously or else we jeopardise the future of innocent children.
The teacher’s role is not just in preparing learners for public examinations.This is only a fraction of the teacher’s responsibilities.
At the moment, the major concern is whether learners would be able to pass their examinations if teachers remain incapacitated, but this should not actually be the major worry.
The teacher also plays a role in a child’s social, moral and spiritual development.
Parents also play the same role in their children’s lives, but in modern society, parents, uncles and aunts no longer have the opportunity to fully stand for these needs because they hardly spend their active time with their children, nephews and nieces, so the teacher has closed that gap.
Children, by virtue of being children are adventurous. The boredom of not having any lessons at school will force them to seek amusement in anti-social activities like drug and alcohol abuse, vandalism, pornography and sexual activity.
The social media is already inundated with videos of Zimbabwean teenagers is school uniform engaging in team sex. This is very sad indeed.
I hope government and teachers will break the impasse, lest our education system continues to suffer.
Nhamo Muchagumisa writes from Odzi. He writes in his own capacity and can be contacted on +263777460162. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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