UPDATE: We are not hungry dogs but hungry teachers

13 Oct 2016 14:20pm
KATIMA MULILO, 13 OCT (NAMPA) – Striking teachers in the Zambezi Region declared Thursday that they had lost confidence in Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.
Those on strike told Nampa they are now harbouring deep-seated frustrations against Himarwa, saying she is blocking their demand for an eight per cent salary increment, despite being fully aware of the high cost of living and deplorable conditions rural school teachers live in.
On Thursday, Nampa visited the Katima Mulilo circuit point, where the more than 100 aggrieved teachers were gathered, chanting slogans and dancing in solidarity, while scores of them could be seen wielding placards reading ‘We are teachers, we want 8%’; ‘We are not hungry dogs. We are hungry and angry teachers’; ‘Katrina, we have lost confidence in you’.
Another placard read ‘Teachers don’t eat chalk. They eat food’, while another warned that if Government does not give in to their demands, the educators will not return to their respective teaching posts but continue ‘crippling’ the education sector.
These teachers are among thousands taking part in a nationwide strike currently underway in the country.
The consequences of the strike have resulted in the scheduled Grade 10 and Grade 12 examinations being suspended for Thursday and Friday.
A media statement issued by Himarwa, said the examinations are likely to resume on Monday.
Zambezi education director, Austin Samupwa said the strike had disrupted school lessons, as there were no teachers in sight at public schools throughout the Zambezi Region.
Teachers are striking at different gathering points indicated according to the circuits of the schools they fall under.
Currently, there are five points in the Zambezi Region where teachers are gathered: Bukalo, Chinchimane, Katima Mulilo, Ngoma and Sibbinda.
The regional officials from the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) are monitoring them.
When Nampa drove around Katima Mulilo, gates of the Greenwell Matongo, Ngweze primary and secondary schools were locked.
Hostel learners at Caprivi Senior Secondary and St Kizito College were told to go home for the ‘long weekend’ as some of the teachers tasked to supervise them were on strike.