Students bemoan teachers’ strike

Students bemoan teachers’ strike

MASERU – STUDENTS who are set to sit for their national exams this month say they have not been adequately prepared for the tests following a year-long stand-off between teachers and the government.
Some of the students, who took part in a Transformation Resource Centre (TRC)-sponsored discussion on the National Reforms Bill, told thepost that they are innocent victims of the stalemate.

They said the strike by teachers has had a very negative impact on their lives.
Khahliso Lesaoana from ’Mabathoana High School in Maseru said they thought the “war” between teachers and the government would be over by now.
Lesaoana is in Grade 12.
“We are about to write our final exams but the strike is still on,” Lesaoana said.
She said they have not been attending classes properly because of the teachers’ strike.
“Due to the strike we are demotivated because we have been away from teachers for a long time,” she said.

Lesaoana said they have no option but to get used to the situation.
The government has said it will take into consideration the strike by teachers when examiners mark the students’ scripts this year.
But Lesaoana said that “act of kindness” by the government will likely backfire when they get into university with many dropping out.
“We already know that things will be easy in exams so some see no need to focus,” she said.
Lesaoana said students had spent a lot of time idling which is likely to impact on their pass rate.

Khotso Ponoane from Butha-Buthe High School said youths can easily be influenced by bad practices such as taking drugs.
“We have been kept at home for a long time and some have resorted to using drugs,” Ponoane said.

Ponoane is about to write his Grade 12 final exams but he is not feeling ready because teachers did not have enough time to revise with them.
He said sometimes teachers who attend classes are the ones teaching subjects they do not like.
“We end up not happy to be at school when we find that our favourite teacher is not attending classes,” Ponoane said.
He said these are small issues that can push youths to quit school.

Another student Qokoana Borotho from Butha-Buthe said since they were sent home by the teachers no one had really focused on their studies.
He said parents never really give children time to study while at home.
He said their education came to a screeching halt and everything has come to a deadlock because they need assistance from teachers to understand certain concepts.

Borotho said the strike had negatively affected their education.
“It does not only affect us,” he said.
He said their parents and teachers have also been badly affected.
Borotho said the government should swallow its pride and meet teachers’ expectations.

Nkheli Liphoto


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