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Teachers must reclaim their authority

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When the dust settled, adherents to this scorched-earth policy became subject advisers and drivers of an educational system that lay in tatters

Picture: Twitter/@_cosatu

Allow me to address the burning issue of the desperate situation in classrooms with the main role-players.

I will start with Sadtu. This organisation seems to forget that their battle cry in the 1980s was “Liberation before education”.

I could never reconcile my vocation as educator with their tactics of disrupting and destroying the educational ambit.

When the dust settled, adherents to this scorched-earth policy became subject advisers and drivers of an educational system that lay in tatters.

The best teachers had faded into the ignominy of early retirement.

Then there is the Western Cape Education Department. They are part of the negotiated peace that cunningly included sunset clauses.

They drive an education system that castrates teachers.

Under the banner of equal rights they polemicise the thuggery that learners take as political licence.

They emasculate educators who stand for basic educational principles such as trust, authority, curricular competence, seniority, experience and maturity.

They protect governing bodies that function outside the specialised knowledge required to address the real educational needs of the school.

I question their policy of not stepping in when a teacher, rogue or principled, is a governing body appointment.

The pathetic programme of counselling and comfort after the tragedy has occurred needs to be substituted with meaningful planning and engagement to prevent these abominable acts.

This kind of action gives undeserved credence to a flawed constitution that demands loyalty for itself rather than for faith-based morality.

I turn to the government of the day. Your first priority is house-keeping. You are empowered to collect taxes. This money should be used to nurture the futures, that is, the children, into good citizenship that can address, improve or correct your period of governance, good or bad.

Instead of this, you politicise language, race, gender, humanity, childhood, motherhood – in a word, everything.

It’s not about the ANC. It’s about good living and sound morals. You are not a substitute for God. You were elected to govern fairly. You were voted in. You can be voted out.

Finally, teachers and parents. Reclaim your authority in your respective domains. Reward good behaviour. Punish bad. It is your right, not enshrined in a man-made constitution, but in the commandments of God Himself.