The announcement by the ANC that they would make education an essential service was met with a huge outcry by the teachers' unions - SADTU most vocally - as well as COSAS (a STUDENT representative body) that has determined that making education an essential service should be fought with all the vigour that can be mustered.
Their argument is that by making education an essential service the rights of teachers to strike would be affected???? They steadfastly hold the pathetic belief that if the government instead spends additional billions of Rands on infrastructure and resources for schools that teachers will not want to strike and that throwing money at the problem will solve it. I call bullsh*t!
All that would happen if their route was followed is that there would now be billions of Rand in property that would be available for them to destroy and loot when they decide that its time that they get paid more for doing less. And naturally this holds the entire country to ransom (well at least those of us that seem to think that having an educated youth is desirable) as soon as they start with their violent strikes and protests.
The strength of the opposition put forward by these pathetic excuses for human beings is that the Constitution guarantees teachers the right to strike. So what??? The Constitution also guarantees children the right to an education. And if the rights of the child as espoused in the Constitution always outrank the rights of even PARENTS of those children, why then do these idiots think that the right to strike outranks the right to education?
My message to these "people" is simple - no one forced you t become a teacher. no one forced you to sign an employment contract with the school you work for and agree to the terms and conditions as well as the SALARY and benefits. So if you happen to CHOOSE to become a teacher and you CHOOSE to VOLUNTARILY agree to WORK for a school KNOWING what is expected of you and how much you will be paid where the hell do you get off thinking that you can strike for higher wages when and as it suits you?
Who the hell do you think you are to decide that when you want less hours for more pay that you can simply violate millions of children's right to education? And where in the universe do you get the idea that violence is the right way to go about getting what you want? How in the hell do you justify destroying what schools, libraries and infrastructure you do have because you want more??? (So let me get this straight, you destroy what you have because it isn't enough??? Forgive me for looking at you blankly and scratching my head in confusion.)
Grow the hell up and start acting like teachers - role models for our youth. If you are going to be a teacher then you had damn well better be passionate about it because you knew before going in that teachers are not the highest paid people in the country. If you knew that and still went ahead I think you happen to have lost your rights to strike.
Teachers should not need massive and extensive technological infrastructure to teach. Do you not know your subjects well enough to do that without textbooks and transparencies and worksheets? What happened to teachers TEACHING and showing rather than pointing to a page in a book and reading it to a bunch of bored kids that are not paying attention anyway?
I really do hope and pray that the ANC at least gets this one right - and that way as soon as we have
And just to be fair I will point out that the ANC has a duty to actually provide the schools with classrooms, bathroom facilities and libraries at the very least (on that note they could provide better if they weren't constantly repairing the damage caused during strikes and paying extra salaries to teachers who do not teach!).