TUN condemns Education's stakeholder survey

TUN condemns Education's stakeholder survey
Photo credits: 

The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) has condemned the action by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to conduct a survey among teachers as members of trade unions as to whether schools should reopen this year or not.
The TUN says teachers should be surveyed as part of the ministry's employees only but not as representing the union, maintaining that information regarding the position of unions for which they have affiliated should be solicited from trade unions themselves but not the teaching staff.
While calling for the complete closing of schools from pre-primary to Grade 8 for 2020, TUN says no input should be solicited from teachers as they are represented by trade unions who should provide a common position about the views of their members.
The ministry launched the online survey seeking input from learners, teachers, principals and community members last week.
A statement issued and signed by the secretary-general of TUN, Mahongora Kavihuha described the ministry's move as appalling and making a mockery of the policy of representation as enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
TUN argues that, while it's the ministry's prerogative to engage its employees on the matter, the union believes such action doesn't require views of individual teachers but a collective position should be adopted and this should be done solely by the union representing them.
The teachers' union, therefore, described the action by the ministry as a complete disrespect and done in bad faith with disregard to trade unions and union structures in formulating a common position on the matter.
This, TUN says, should allow for automatic transfer of these learners to the next grade in 2021 with necessary curriculum adjustment to ensure that required competencies are attained to avoid backlog for some grades.
The union further calls for Grade 10s to be sent back home as they are causing overcrowding in classrooms and hostels and that their studies be supplemented by their two-year syllabus and extra classes during 2021.
For this reason, TUN suggests that Grade 9 pupils be recalled as they have to make choices for their future fields of studies.
At the same time, Kavihuha denounced the notion of studying at home by learners saying the practice is posing a danger of COVID-19, especially when pupils, teachers and parents exchange learning materials.
Kavihuha, therefore, called on the ministry to start preparing in terms of infrastructure for next year even if the pandemic persists in 2021.