All Suiderlig teachers back in class

04 Feb 2015 12:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 04 FEB (NAMPA) – Teachers at the Suiderlig High School hesitantly accepted a settlement between the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) and the //Karas Region Directorate of Education on Tuesday.
The six teachers who had endured with their strike agreed to return to class.
This outcome followed after a lengthy and heated meeting between Nantu and the education directorate on Tuesday morning to discuss the grievances of the teachers.
The teachers had complained of new regulations concerning placement of teachers per subject and promotional posts.
The meeting was attended by amongst others, //Karas regional director of education /Awebahe //Hoeseb, Nantu Secretary General (SG) Basilius Haingura and Nantu //Karas regional chairperson Angelica Freyer.
Earlier, the directorate issued an internal memo outlining that teachers who taught subjects they did not specialise in, were ‘misplaced’. Thus, the memo outlined, subject and departmental promotions would be based on areas of specialisation and not experience in teaching of the subject.
According to Haingura, the meeting resolved that since the memo does not have a fixed implementation date and that schools should disregard the memo where subject teaching was concerned in favour of experience.
Haingura however said that it was a continuous process for the entire country to appoint teachers in their subjects of specialisation.
“We have to start now to eliminate the problem of teachers teaching subjects they are not qualified in to benefit the Namibian child,” he said.
The meeting also determined that promotional posts should be based on performance and experience in addition to qualifications.
In this regard, Haingura advised schools to clearly reflect their requirements in advertisements to suit the needs of the school.
Some of the teachers who attended the feedback meeting between Nantu and the teachers on Tuesday afternoon took a cautious stand.
“The memo has already been implemented to the detriment of thoroughly experienced veteran teachers in the region, so we will just wait and see what will happen,” a teacher noted.
The teachers most affected by the memo regulations are those who have about 10 to 15 years left in the teaching profession before retirement.
The qualifications of these teachers differ from those currently obtained through the University of Namibia’s teaching programmes.
Freyer, who is also a teacher at Suiderlig, harshly criticised the approach of qualification over experience.
“Our old qualifications cannot be ignored. We are talking about highly-skilled teachers who have helped carry the nation for decades – who give their all to teaching,” she said.