Making education an essential service is declaring teachers slaves: iLIVE

12 February 2013 - 15:33 By Anees Mohamed

Justice Malala, let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of your columns and thoroughly enjoy your take on things. However, your column 'No place for striking teachers' came as a tad of a shock to me.

My spouse is a teacher (who works at a ‘no fee school’) so I have been through the emotional roller-coaster for the ineptness of the Eastern Cape Education Department.

There were teachers last year that were not paid for 6 or 7 months. Now would you still go to work if that was the case with you??

I agree with SADTU (and this is a big thing for me, because I feel that our trade unions are a cancer to our economy) on the matter of it being a waste to call education an essential service.

Just calling it that does solve the under lying issues that plague the profession in this country. To name a few, Non-payment of salaries; over-crowding of classrooms because of a shortage of teachers (yet no advertising of any vacancies are up or available); non-delivery of supplies to schools… the list goes on.

If the ruling party wants to have education declared an essential service, then it should be treated as such. And educators should be treat as if they are essential.

Before declaring it an essential service, first fix the problems and implement systems that work, weed out mismanagement and ineptness on the part of departments. If this is not done and they go ahead with the ruling of making education an essential service it would be tantamount to declaring teachers slaves.

Keep up the good work with your columns.