In my own view, “suffocate a teacher and kill a nation.” Back in the day when I used to go to Nakasero Primary School, we had a certain way of life, backed by the best of attitudes. The quality of education was way up there. We spoke the best English, engaged in the best co-curricular activities, excelled academically and we were attended to by the best teachers (committed and full of life). We enjoyed quality at its best. The same applied to our colleagues at Kitante Primary School and Buganda Road Primary School among others.
Now if you attended any of the above mentioned schools, you will concur with me and understand the nightmare that I experienced when I watched the 9pm NTV news bulletin on Monday.
The children looked rowdy. A couple of them at Nakasero Primary School passed time playing cards. OMG! Then a group of others at Kitante Primary School boldly expressed themselves in vernacular before the cameras, while at Buganda Road Primary School, it was a different story altogether as one of the teachers took time off to explain how tough life is given the little pay and all. His English accent too came in as a shock, if one is to compare it to the teachers that existed then. My, oh my … what a messy situation it has become overtime!
What happened to placing quality above everything? The joy and pride from way back? What happened to the zealous full of life staff that ensured and worked hard at maintaining the good standards of education? When did all this fly off to the dead end?
Your guess is as good as mine. I mean we all do not need a rocket scientist to tell us that what went wrong.
And isn’t it quite startling that some of the people from the professions that we probably need the most have to continuously strike just to drive their point home? I mean if it is not the teachers, then it is their colleagues in the medical world.
Yet it is a fact that we all have used their facilities and will forever appreciate them. In other words, we have had to go through school, endured both their harsh and soft treatment, called them names, teased them and even further demeaned them or their ways of life. However, after all has been said and done, we still go back to them, immediately or after so many years to appreciate the good work that they did, and will continue to do for us and our descendants.
So why should they suffer and strive to earn a living while the very people who have tasted the fruits of their work, exist without an ounce of pity? I think this whole circus of them having to wait for budgets to be reviewed, manya priorities have to be set, which priorities could be non-living things like roads and the like should just stop.
The teacher’s strike this time round has been one of those things that has opened our eyes to the plight of the people, who have tirelessly empowered this nation with knowledge and a torch into the future. So let us take a minute and wear their shoes. Maybe then we can realise and appreciate that if they are striking, it is because certain situations have pushed them to that exact limit. After all, I doubt that whoever is paying a deaf ear would even imagine a life of having less than Shs300,000 to spend a month!