WINDHOEK - The Mayor of the City of Windhoek Elaine Trepper says it is important for the Southern African Teachers’ Organizations (SATO) to establish a relationship with education ministers in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and to articulate issues that affect teachers in the region.
She made the remarks while addressing representatives from SADC at the opening of the SATO council meeting held on Saturday at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek.
Trepper added that the representatives should be more active and vigilant in monitoring the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Education that was ratified recently.
She added that it is high time “your voice be heard by all SADC education ministers for our respective governments to become attentive to the plight of teachers”.
“I am convinced that crucial issues affecting Namibian teachers are no different to those that are affecting teachers in your respective countries,” the Windhoek mayor told delegates. The theme of the meeting was “Building Strong Union Through Solidarity”.
SATO president Henry Kapenda urged participants to participate freely in the deliberations in order to make the council a successful one.
He added that SATO was not happy with the way some governments are behaving in the region “in violating labour laws in the countries, they don’t have respect for human rights,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, the secretary general of the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) Basilius Haingura said that it is high time that SATO devised strategies to enable the organisation to pursue the agenda of quality education across the region.
“We should make use of the institutional platform to influence government education policies in our respective countries,” Haingura said.
He said teachers must show strong resolve to confront employers who are deliberately undermining the rights of teachers in the region.
“Therefore, we should vigorously attend to those issues so that our members can enjoy the rights as provided for by the International Labour Organisation and to which those governments are a party,” the secretary general said.