Union Blames Govt for Teachers’ Poor Performance

THE Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) has blamed government for the poor ‘performance’ of teachers.

TUN president Mahongora Kavihuha said the current education system was a total failure in terms of supporting teachers, especially at regional level.

Kavihuha said the union made regional trips meeting teachers to discuss various issues that hamper their performance. Among other things, the teachers raised the concern of payment delays, that can go up to four months for beginners.

“Inspectors and principals are abusing their powers in terms of not allowing or approving teachers’ transfers and are threatening them with disapproval,” he said, adding that the process of appointing heads of departments is not in any way transparent and in most cases teachers are being hand-picked by the principal or inspector.

“No internal aerts are taking place, which results in the favoured teacher getting the aantage. Selection criteria are not clear at all,” he said.

Kavihuha mentioned that no regular workshops on various subjects are conducted, yet there is money wasted on English Language Proficiency Programmes (ELPP), which he says have no meaning to core issues.

When teachers go on leave, they are forced to find and pay for a replacement, Kavihuha said.

The report also claims that 80% of primary school teachers do not have a clue about the new curriculum which they have to implement in less than five months.

Kavihuha said the visit uncovered that there is not a school in all the regions with less than 20% under-qualified or unqualified teachers.

“As a union, we are requesting the ministry to use the money they are wasting on ELPP to provide classes to these unqualifiedunder-qualified teachers during school holidays,” he said.

He added that the union further proposes that teachers, who have been teaching without qualifications, should be afforded priority for reappointment in cases where there are no qualified teachers.

Furthermore, he said that “with this bulk of problems on the shoulders of our teachers, it is most unreasonable to expect them to perform to optimal levels”.

Kavihuha said he had passed on the report to the Minister of Education David Namwandi. The minister however told The Namibian that he had not yet received it and could therefore not comment.

“I have not received it. I cannot comment yet. I am also not too sure whether the permanent secretary received it,” Namwandi said.

Permanent secretary Alfred Ilukena could also not confirm receiving the report yesterday, saying he was out of office. However, he said on the curriculum issues, he requested teachers to be patient since the implementation was underway.

Ilukena said the ministry is aware that teachers need to be trained in terms of the new curriculum because it is a key principle on which the ministry will not compromise.

“We will close schools two weeks earlier at the end of the year so that we get a chance to train the teachers for the curriculum’s implementation,” Ilukena said.

Source : The Namibian