Cosas, whose side are you on?

06 February 2013 - 15:20 By Lebohang Nthongoa
File photo.
File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Teachers have the right to demonstrate? Teachers have the right to demonstrate? Really Cosas?

For a group called Congress of SA Students, you have a warped way of thinking when it comes to the rights of students to receive education without threat of teacher strikes.

I'm wondering which of the members of Cosas who support this notion have been directly affected by absent teachers when you are in the classroom trying to learn.

In light of the strikes that have plagued South Africa of late, is it wise to come out in support of such an approach to voicing grievances, which often affects thousands of workers at a time?

Who, if not teachers and Cosas, is supposed to be there for the students who are left hanging?

I'm proud of the ANC for coming up with the plan to declare education as essential service. We can hardly hope to produce an educated and productive people if we rob them of their basic right to education.

Teacher strikes are anti-education. As the teachers fight for whatever cause the strike was over, the pupils suffer as their right to an education is denied.

And when you are a hard working parent trying to provide for your child(ren)'s education, and then teachers take that away from you and the children, what is your right in that instance?

I understand that teachers may need to demonstrate if they feel like they are not heard, but I maintain that striking is not the only way to make themselves heard. I almost feel like that demonstrations are the first thing people opt for when they want to threaten government or companies. Of course this is probably not the case, but we need to make the children's rights to education prominent in the decision to demonstrate.

Children learn through the examples we set for them, and what are they learning from these strikes? If anything, they probable learn that education is a vocation not to get into because there are always causes to strike for or against. That teachers are probably amongst the unhappiest employees of the government.

I hope Cosas comes up with plan B to address this since ANC's solution doesn't wash with them. If the rights of one side have as much weight as those of the other side, how do we come out of this with both sides winning?

This column is in response to: We don't support education as essential service: Cosas

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