Mercenaries in our schools

Mercenaries in our schools

MUCKRAKER will never join the bandwagon of those sympathising with the striking teachers.
They are just an indolent lot, holding both parents and the government to ransom.
There is something horribly wrong with the wholesale demands teachers have bellowed about for more than a year.
The unions want a general salary review for every teacher, including those notorious for bunking classes and churning out atrocious results.
You don’t hear the unions yelling about performance-related salaries because they know most teachers are slouching on chairs, legs perched on desks, waiting for another pay day.

The unions will not shriek about basing salaries on results because they know it is an unwinnable battle.
Behind every fool in this country is a teacher.
Yeh, Muckraker has said it and will say it again even if the motor mouth called Letsatsi Ntsibolane threatens fire and thunder.
The mediocrity brimming in this country is a serious indictment on the teaching profession.
True, they can point at the likes of Dr Majoro and Professor Nqosa Mahao to gloat about their success but the truth is that there are not many like them around. The rest of the country is teeming with ignoramuses hostile to common sense.

Ask them why their students are failing and you hear a plethora of lame and deceitful excuses. Nyoe, nyoe, we cannot perform miracles with students who don’t have a proper foundation.
Universities and colleges say they receive raw students from secondary schools.
For the first few months they have to teach students basic concepts they should have learned at primary school.
If it’s English they have to start from “Johny kicked the ball”.
Even Grade 1 teachers whimper about the students’ foundation as if that is found in mothers’ bellies.
Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe, the classes are too big. Holy crap! Lesotho’s classes are much smaller than some western countries whose students are faring better. We have one of the lowest teacher-student ratios in Southern Africa.

Even those teachers in private schools where there are fewer students in classes are not doing a better job.
In any case, there is no concrete evidence to support the notion that bigger classes affect grades and performance. It’s telling that the teachers-student ratio is not one of the issues in this strike.
What the teachers should demand is a reduction of the mundane paperwork so they can concentrate on the core business of teaching.
Blah, blah blah there are no books and other teaching aids. Good teachers will always find ways around such problems. Blah, blah, blah we are overworked and underpaid.
Teachers should be working seven days a week to compensate for the three months they spend at home during holidays. As for the idea that they are underpaid, Muckraker can only ask to whom they are comparing themselves. They are some of the highest paid civil servants despite that they do so little work.
All this is boloney. It’s just a hotchpotch of excuses to disperse blame for their shoddy service to the students.

It is outrageous that unions want teachers to be automatically promoted after getting new qualifications.
The reasoning here is so inane that it should not be coming from people who claim to be teachers.
Just because you have an additional qualification doesn’t mean you are more efficient.
Your promotion should be based on performance. Yet our teachers want to be paid for going to school even if they will still be doing the same job. There is no evidence to suggest that a degree holder is a better teacher than a diploma holder. Zero!
Teaching used to be a calling. Today’s teacher is a mercenary who studied education because they could not be accepted into any other course.

Most faculties said “no, not here. Find somewhere to play”.
It is not passion that drove most to become teachers.
They are teachers because it’s relatively easy to be hired.
Once they get the post they start crying about the benefits and salaries as if someone begged to employ them. They forget that they said “I beg to apply”. They pretend to be the best thing to happen after sliced bread yet they know that they can be replaced by the end of their lesson.
This country doesn’t lack qualified teachers. We already have too many unemployed teachers.
What we need are committed and competent teachers. Just because someone is clutching a teaching diploma or degree doesn’t mean they can teach.

Let Muckraker tell you something about these fraudsters we call teachers. Any parent will tell you that there has been a sudden increase in the amount of homework their children bring from school.
The teachers are loading more and more work on the parent.
They call it a “partnership” in the education of children but it’s a ruse to reduce their workload.
Teachers have transferred their work to the parents so that they can skive and gallivant.
These days Muckraker spends hours helping her two nieces with their homework, the same things they are supposed to have mastered at school.
Homework is fraud perpetrated on parents by lazy teachers.

The rip-off doesn’t end there. Today’s teacher is quick to suggest extra lessons if a parent is worried about their child’s grades.
The same teacher on a salary has no qualms demanding an extra bread to give extra lessons to the same student they teach. The disgrace of this scheme cannot be overstated.
You send your child to school and the teacher sleeps on the job so they can demand additional pay to teach them. Most of the extra classes are actually just glorified after-school-care arrangements.
They are nothing more than schemes to blackmail parents.
Muckraker recently withdrew one of her nieces from those sham classes after realising that the teacher spends her time peddling candy to the students while basking in the sun.

Muckraker is tired of teachers complaining about the “hardship” allowances, the stipend given to teachers in rural areas. The hypocrisy is astounding.
It is common knowledge that the average teacher in Lesotho comes from rural areas.
Most first met the shower and toilet chamber at the Lesotho College of Education or the National University of Lesotho. Even those who stayed in towns used VIP toilets and had never experienced the miracle of a tap oozing hot water.
Those from rural areas traveled for hours to school, while farting the gasses off their empty bellies.
They had neither shoes nor uniforms. Now just because they are qualified teachers they whine about working in rural schools. They want to be compensated for working in the same places they spent their childhood.

Their rural bums are no longer good enough for VIP toilets.
It’s as if eyes are now allergic to the smoke of firewood. Phew!
The government should pay them for using candles and travelling on horseback. Phew!
We are now paying villagers staying in villages.
If teaching is such a wretched job then how come they are not quitting in droves?
Why is it that most spend decades in the same job and, more often than not, in the same school?
The answers are clear. First, teachers are not as underpaid as they claim. If the salaries were so low then they would have left their jobs.
Second, teaching is one profession that rewards laziness. No teacher has ever been fired for bad grades.
There are no performance targets to measure a teacher’s output.

Third, most teachers have it good because they have a three-month paid holiday every year.
Fourth, they are in a profession that allows them to cheat the system. They can rig term tests by coaching their students on the examination. They can test the students on the little they have taught and still maintain the façade of being brilliant teachers.
Let’s not hear about principals because they too are just teachers who happen to have their own offices. Many have been promoted to their positions of incompetence.
They are not bothered by bad grades because they don’t affect their salaries.
No one has stopped frustrated teachers from leaving. Size Two left and made it big in politics. He could even afford an encore of his premiership.
The Speaker of Parliament Sephiri Motanyane left teaching for politics. Watch now as he asks G4S to block MPs who want to yank Uncle Tom out of power.
Mokose was a headmaster but is now having a blast as a diplomat. Mochoboroane used to work with the chalk but he now leads a political party.
If you have remained a teacher for the rest of your life then you should not blame anyone but yourself. It’s not the world’s problem that you lack ambition.

Any parent will tell you that the only time they see the impact of a teacher is when their child is harassing them over some useless school trip.
The pressure will be coming from the teacher who wants to pinch coins off the trip fees.
They load the students in a chicken bus to come to Maseru to watch the escalator and lifts at Pioneer Mall.
As soon as the bus parks at the mall the teachers are loading their tummies with beer bought with money stolen from parents.
Those whose children attend so-called private schools (most of those schools are hovels, anyway) will tell you horror stories about endless class parties and birthday celebrations.

After school the teachers will sneak through the back gate with bags full of leftover cakes and potato chips. Pathetic thieves. Smalltime crooks.
What is shocking about this strike is that the government is allowing the teachers to continue with their tomfoolery. There is no point in keeping unhappy employees who have been striking for a year.
If Muckraker was the Education Minister she would hand them their dismissal letters with the right hand and receive applications with the left hand. Lesotho has more teachers than goats.
The government should send them packing and see if our basic education will come to a standstill.
Muckraker was taught English by a COSC graduate but here you are, imbibing her words and nodding your head.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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