Govt directive unworkable, argue principals
MANZINI – School principals have said gove-rnment’s directive that they return to class by July 24 will be unworkable unless government allocates each of the 14 000 teachers a police officer as a safety precaution.
Almost all principals who spoke during their meeting with the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Training, Pat Muir, said they were concerned about their safety.
One principal said, "If we use force and threats to remove teachers from the streets, then surely we are taking the strike to the schools. What will happen to our safety?," she asked.
The Principal Secretary said if the principals failed to reopen schools by next Tuesday, they risked being fired themselves.
He said the Employment Act of 1980 states that an employee who absented himself for more than three days faced expulsion.
"In the case of the ‘waya waya’ strike, teachers have been absent for 19 days," the PS said.
He said besides expulsion, teachers will also be subjected to the no-work-no-pay rule.
His address was occassionaly interrupted as the principals periodically booed him in disagreement.
First to raise the question of safety was Thembelihle Mndz-ebele who said she had to move her children from her school in fear that they would be attacked by people who are for the teachers strike.
"We have heard the PS, but we also have serious concerns about our safety. I did not hear the PS saying anything about it, yet our lives are in danger.
"We are not talking about 4.5 per cent as principals but we are worried about our safety," she said.
Sibongile Mazibuko, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said each of the teachers would need to be guarded by a police officer.
"Since we have approximately 14 000 teachers, we will need to have 14 000 police officers guarding every teacher," she said.
She said she was not convinced that government was putting the interests of the child first.
"If government says it is happy to have saved money, totalling E5 million as a result of the no-work-no-pay rule, then we are not convinced that the interests of the child is in gove-rnment’s heart."
She also said those who got no salaries as a result of the no-work-no-pay rule do not have money to go to work.
"How are you expecting them to go to work if they got E0.00 as a result of the rule," she said.
The PS said all teachers who feared being victimised for going to school should freely contact the Ministry of Education which would then act urgently.
He also said the principals knew what their contracts of employment said they must do when faced with such circumstances.
SNAT should open a trust fund where we will donate for those affected by no work no pay, the strungle is for every Swazi not only teachers and i can smell victory
Jul 20, 2012, 3:29 AM, economist (email@example.com)
Job well-done Mr Prime Minister and your government. This no-work-no-pay policy is a very realistic one since no-one can be allowed to ''steal'' or take money he has not worked for from government. Teachers were using their belief that they are one of the important people in the country for leverage against government. Personally, I do not allow people to blackmail me using my needs, and government has successfully employed that principle too, thumbs up. SNAT is a blind entity which hasnt even thought that there were about 240 student teachers from UNISWA and some from other institutions such as UNISA in the country's schools doing their teaching practise. SNAT has 'molested' the rights to education for those upcoming intellectuals above those of their own pupils. Thanks government for the success, but you really do need to review teachers' salaries; you cant tell me that a whole teacher who spent 4 or 5 years and even 6 in a tertiary institution (B.Eds, PGCEs and B.Com+PGCE respectively) can earn E6000 at the end of each month, no its very wrong. Babukeleleni bo, nabo solo bekatfu nome bangemahlongandlebe nje. By the way, only a few such as Sibongile are behind this whole thiing. Ndumiso Mahlosane Magagula +26 87653 0510 http://mahlosanemagagula.blogspot.com Student Teacher Mkhuzweni High School
Jul 20, 2012, 3:29 AM, Ndumiso Mahlosane Magagula (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maybe its time students join the strike because i strongly believe they also have the rights to be educated therefore if they hold back not supporting their future will be dragged into the mud they should help teachers as well
Jul 20, 2012, 9:21 AM, sabelo (email@example.com)
Ngabe lo Sbongile Mazibuko uliyisaphi lelive?????
Jul 20, 2012, 9:21 AM, Ntsiknie
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