Alleged Teacher Apology Dispelled

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) last Friday rebutted as untruthful reports in the media that it had made an apology to a local law firm representing the Cambridge Education System in Britain. The President of TUN, Gert Jansen, described the law firm’s actions as presumptuous, bullying and uncalled for. “The TUN reaffirms its press statement of 18 January 2006, which enjoys the broad patriotic popular support of all right-thinking members of the Namibian public. TUN further endorses all relevant statements made by its executive and functionaries regarding the Cambridge Education System as being consistent with public perception in Namibia,” the statement partially read. Jansen told New Era that he and his deputy president were highly disturbed at the apology on TUN’s behalf last Tuesday by a local law firm. A letter written to New Era from the law firm Chris Brandt Attorneys states: “Our client has never complained of fair and reasonable criticism, but to such wrongful language and accusations as this it cannot submit. Our client therefore instructs us to call upon you unconditionally to withdraw every false statement made or published and also to publish a full and unqualified apology to our client. “We arrived back in the country from a teachers’ conference in Spain on the same day and found to our total surprise and amazement that TUN had made such an apology. This was untrue and false. TUN never tendered such an apology,” an irate TUN boss fumed. According to the union, it is TUN’s view that it represents its broader membership and speaks as one voice. “Therefore, office-bearers should not be singled out as individuals after press conferences. We have no knowledge of the purported good reputation of the Cambridge Education System in the UK or elsewhere in the world. Hence, TUN does not subscribe to the same because of self evident disastrous missed educational outcomes of the system in Namibia since its inception,” Jansen said. The self-designed apology on behalf of TUN states : “The teachers Union of Namibia withdraws the inaccurate and wrong information they have conveyed to the media and the general public about the Cambridge System.” In its press release TUN affirmed its constitutional right and duty in the public interest to speak out against the Cambridge Education System said Jansen.