I was vexed when I saw the Wednesday daily nation this week screaming headline ‘Teachers fail the test on a Grade Three assessment’. I recall wondering aloud whose interest the article served. Does the media know the implication of such headlines on the society especially the learners? What goes on in the mind of these learners when they see such negative statements about their teachers? How do they contend with the claim that their teachers failed the very exam they were administering?
Smiling all the way to the bank.
This reminded me of the reportage of the Kenyan teachers’ issues by mainstream media. I am sure you have seen loud newspaper headlines describing the Kenyan teacher as incompetent, lazy, perverted and even greedy. (We need a definition of greed here in reference to our MCAs) Others have misled the public on matters pay of teachers. This happens often after prolonged standoffs between the teachers’ employer TSC and the teachers’ unions that purport to offer representation but we all know what they represent- their stomach!
Headlines like ‘Teachers smile all the way to the bank‘, ‘Hefty allowances for teachers following the signing of the best CBA north and south of Lipompo’, ‘Teachers reap big in house and medical allowances’ are common catchy phrases that the print media uses solely to market their daily productions without minding how misleading this information is to the public.
Ok. How do you smile all the way to the bank when a fake union signs a bogus CBA that only rewards the administrators? How do you even laugh to your SACCO when the much-hyped CBA only gives you 1500 Kenya shillings before tax as increment after waiting for a whole calendar year? I can’t help but think that this society loathes teachers with passion. How do editors allow such exaggerated headlines to make their front pages when they are products of these teachers that they ridicule, vilify and demean?
Of rotten apples
Every profession has few rotten apples. We have heard of doctors who have split open skulls of the wrong patients at KNH, costly medical mistakes that have seen patients undergo surgery on the wrong body part, others have undergone the incorrect procedures or have had procedures intended for different patients. This is according to the World Health Organization(WHO). In the building and construction industry, we have been treated to careless errors by engineers that have seen buildings and bridges collapse with high levels of fatalities. (Remember vindu vikolapsanga in Budalangi?) We have been through the hands of very corrupt judges, the police force, civil servants who are quite inept! Have you heard of court cases dragging for decades? Of much-hyped mega projects that have been reduced to phantoms? (Read Kimwarer, Aror, Itare and Gulana Gulalu) But wait, when one rogue teacher makes a mistake: The issue is usually blown out of proportion and the whole world almost lynches one. So what is the big deal with teachers? For those who have been following this CBC thing, it is very clear that the government was and still is very ill-prepared to roll out this new curriculum! (Didn’t the former CS education say so? )Ok. How do you train teachers scantily, offer contradicting directives on assessing the learners(read fake time tables from KNEC doing rounds on social media?) and expect them to be 100% effective?
Teachers work and God’s pay
It is only teachers who are expected to work and get paid by God. Colleagues (read principals) have mastered the clarion call to teachers ”God‘s work has God’s pay” when rallying teachers to give their all at school when they themselves are busy taking all! I dare ask. Did we go to universities and teacher training colleges to come and volunteer? Religious pundits too have joined the conspiracy to oppress the teachers by reading from the good book-James 3:1 –on how teachers are to be judged harshly in a bid to scare and subdue them. What about them when they gobble all and thrive in luxury here on earth? Some have palatial homes and private jets to boot. Aren’t they already in heaven? Aren’t teachers supposed to live well too here on earth at least before they proceed to the world of honey and milk?
Teachers’ pay, welfare and respect.
It is time this government appreciated teachers by renumerating them handsomely. Teachers must be paid well if the government’s vision 2030 blueprint is to be achieved. The society must also respect us. Donge?