Complaints from a ‘Useless Teacher’

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Allow me space in your good newspaper to air my views and express my big concern on teachers and education in this country, please! Each year, all the four colleges produce teachers who were trained in different fields apparently. Each college produces +/- 150 teachers each year, then they just go out there in public like uneducated people and stay there without jobs. Some stay unemployed for up to even two years. All these teachers were trained in the government institutions and they were supposed to be employed in the government schools respectively after completing their studies. Due to the admission of too many students in the colleges, it has led to such problems. The colleges are admit-ting too many students each year. The government knows it precisely that there is a shortage of schools in the country but they don’t have a law that prescribes the limitation of students in the colleges. The other thing that is contributing to the unemployment situation among teachers is the programme of sending students to go study in Zimbabwe. What is the aim and objective of the government sending students to Zimbabwe while the same field is also offered here in Namibia at the same level even. Those students are coming back to come and teach here and there are not enough schools to accommodate them. Last year, almost +/- 300 maths and science (5-7) teachers completed this course and came to look for jobs here this year. For what importance is it, sending students abroad, paying a lot of money as if there are enough schools where they will come and teach, plus the ones that are trained inside the country. Instead of using that money to build schools, they are sending students to study a very simple course even on a low level abroad. They are just telling no, teachers are useless in schools and saying we just want salary increments while we don’t do anything. We actually fail to understand what they mean by saying “teachers are not doing anything”. If teachers are useless, how did they get in the offices where they are today? Did they just jump from the air straight into the offices? Is it not because of useless, trained teachers? The government or whoever is in charge of recruiting teachers must do something on this, if not they must tell us to go study further if there are no jobs for teachers who completed college. How do they think we feel being unemployed if we are trained and still we have to pay back their loans within a period of three years. Where will we take the money to pay back their loans if we are unemployed? I think I have wasted my time being in college for 3 years just for nothing. I could have been studying something which can give me an opportunity to be employed? We had a meeting last year at the Windhoek College of Education with the director of Education in the Khomas Region, whereby a question of “why are they training too many students in the colleges if there are not enough posts for each and everyone who is completing the BETD course?” was raised. The answer that the director gave was vague and ununderstandable to some. The director told us we must just be there trained in case some of the teachers leave the profession or die. I do understand that in every profession, people are dying, but how on earth does a normal person suspect that there is a teacher at a certain school who is sick. So, I must just wait until she/he dies, then I will replace him/her. For how long are you going to wait until somebody leaves the profession or dies in order to replace him/her? Is it not even going to take you five years waiting for someone to die then you can replace that teacher? I know people are dying but I cannot just be trained, stay there to replace dying people. I was not trained to replace dying people for employment. Thank you A.N. Gabriel (Useless Trained Teacher) Oshakati