In the 20thand early 21st century teachers were a barometer of an average successful life in the society. Probably 4 out of ten students aspired to be teachers when they grow up and even parents used to inspire their children to be more serious in education sighting teachers as examples. The black sheep of the communities would be identified as “vanhu vakarova mateacher nerekeni.”
Times have changed.
The employer has turned its employees into a laughing stock and they are not even ashamed of the chaos they are creating in the country.
Imagine a teacher without motivation! So much for complaining that schools are churning out students who are to seek employment rather than create opportunities.
What industrial development can we talk about when we are neglecting those who are critical in shaping the future of children and Zimbabwe as a nation?
It is distressing to note that the President suggests that teachers are trying to hold the government at ransom for demanding better income, better living conditions and even respect as other members in the public service.
“By failing to report for duty, they think they will push us to do what they want. No, we are very principled on that,” he said.
If the government is very principled, just like any other employer they would surely address the plight of teachers for the benefit of everyone and not boast about turning their backs on teachers because it is a self-defeating stance.
Inflation is soaring, and the government must address the grievances of teachers without drawing political connotations to the matter.
Because of the ongoing impasse between teachers and the government the country now faces another embarrassing episode of ‘immorality’ amongst students in schools.
Social media has been awash with videos and pictures of students doing drugs and other sexually suggestive position and moves.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary education has raised concerns over these rampant practices as students do not have the proper supervision they would normally get from working teachers.
When the cat is away, just like at any homestead, if you leave children alone they are likely to be mischievous and it’s the same scenario at school right now.
To flip the coin, social media can be used to construct or deconstruct images and conversations. It is bothersome to note that some adults are now sexualizing these children and further perpetuating the damage that is already done. Most of them already feel bad about those videos.
As we celebrate the international day of the girl child, we are supposed to safeguard our children and not make them more vulnerable through the use of social media.
The kind of damage we are exposing to these students as we share images, memes and videos amongst ourselves will forever live with them as social media does not forget.
Above everything, the government must surely ‘spare a thought for children’ and be serious about addressing the grumbles of teachers.