Jobless teachers protest over ­recruitment process

20 January 2021 | Labour

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Unemployed teachers will embark on a national demonstration on Thursday to protest against the education ministry's recruitment procedures.

The United Unemployment Teachers Movement (UUTM) will be joined by the Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) and the Student Union of Namibia (SUN) in solidarity.

A petition will be handed over to the Office of the Prime Minister, outlining demands to which they want a response within seven days.

SUN has threatened to lock down schools if no response is received within this time.



Thousands jobless

Fransina Shikomba, a representative of the movement's organising committee, said there are 1 980 unemployed teachers in Khomas, Oshikoto, Omusati and Otjozondjupa. Data still has to be received from Kavango, Erongo and Zambezi.

She said one of their demands is that job interviews must be abolished, because many teachers are called to an interview for the same post, which is a waste of money.

“One post can attract more than 400 applicants and all 400 candidates will end up competing for that one post through written interviews. Then there is the coronavirus; we are risking our lives and those of our families.”

She added that they cannot afford to travel for interviews.

Shikomba said placement of qualified teachers should take place instead of interviews, and that all teaching posts that were frozen should be reactivated.

She added that all primary teaching posts occupied by unqualified teachers must be given to unemployed qualified teachers.

They also want Life Skills posts requiring working experience to be abolished.

Shikomba further said that the medium of instruction should be reviewed and changed to English, because it prevents unemployed graduates from applying for posts in other regions.

“Recruitment should be done only by human resources and evaluated critically at headquarters, not by schools, because in some cases they might withhold application forms and claim that no one qualified applied.” She said the temporary appointment of teachers with only Grade 12, or with qualifications in fields other than education, should also be abolished.

“These posts must be given to qualified teachers.”

She said the demonstration will start on Thursday at 08:00 at the Katutura Resource Centre, from where they will march through Independence Avenue to the Office of the Prime Minister to hand over their petition.



Solidarity

Brian Ngutjinazo of SUN said they stand in solidarity with the unemployed teachers and are disappointed with the system of recruitment.

“Classes can accommodate about 35 learners, but are overcrowded where you will find some with 100 learners, yet you have unemployed teachers.”

He said learners will boycott school if the unemployed teachers do not receive a response to their petition.

Unemployed teachers last year also protested against the education ministry's recruitment process.

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