Dear Editor – The practice is obvious again that the government is trying to defend its own interest by side tracking the teachers from being included in the review of the education act and the white paper as its final stages.
The white paper has already pointed us in that direction. The tendency to blur the answers to the teacher’s questions on the MEHRD’s part cannot succeed when all was crystal clear in the events referred to in the Solomon star no. 5991, Monday 5th October 2015 and entitled education act review and that of issue 6005 page 2 on the white paper.
All the reflections do descend abruptly into oblivion that one can connote the summation of it all that teachers are still forgotten and their voices ignored. Instead much aberrations and agitations have been raised against the teachers and are in the forefront of the news here in the Solomon Islands.
Sadly these same old strategies did gather no qualms and at the end were only empty and tedious accomplishments that did not serve the needs of this country in the long run. It simply means that the teachers in the days to come will continue to lumber in the ocean of no satisfaction in their work and identity.
A penetrating insight into the matter would only be iterated as;
‘As the number of teachers continue to increase it did overwhelm the capability of the government to handle, manage and rectify.’
But this sentiment will be inescapable for the country and we must bear the cost for the sake of the future of the country. We must bear it to compete with other countries educationally. The general consensus is that money is the problem but I feel the heart of the problem lies in a far deeper matter and value. It’s how much we value teachers that reflected on our spending on them. The realities of the teachers values always speaks higher of them. Parents bring a child into this world but a teacher can bring a child into the world to come, the world of spirit, creativity, ideas, self worth and ultimate immortality.
Thus teaching transcends even parenting. It is a holy work. In this regards, teachers are entitled to a decent salary and to proper working conditions and a voice to be heard. This is because no progress is possible without knowledge and without education Solomon Islands might still be in the caves. We can kill the future of this nation through the way that we value education and how it appears in our education act and polices. True wisdom in education is seeing in advance the consequences of our education act and polices on the teachers actions and behavior. Truly the teachers we have today are solely the product of our education act, polices and system. It is the reflection of how we value them.
So what has been done by the government to circumnavigate this aspect? The clear answer and strategy is send them out to be adopted by other families who are called the education authorities or EAs. But teachers have found that living with other families is not the same as living with the true parents which is the government. Our brothers and sisters who have lived with the true parents (the government) have enjoyed it very much.
We have made our call to the government but he took no interest as the EAs continue to tell them otherwise. So we continue to ensure that we go on strikes before the government can hear us. For the past 30 years that is what we have done to get our views in. today the classroom is very much being challenge by the realities of the outside world such as unemployment, discipline, politics, poverty and so on.
Today we have the most astounding period of our time in which the education act is reviewed. In its essence, it is the teachers that did came face to face with the grim realities of all the effects of the education act and policies. We as teachers would want to take this ample time to press for the education act that will bring us back to our true parents (the government) and serve in the house of the public service. But in the last review we have been neglected and trashed aside. We know that the government still wants us to be adopted for the next 50 years again with the EAs. This is the very reason for the action being done get us offside when the education act will finally by pass us and gone to glory from our beach.
According to their reports they have stressed that the partnership with the EAs will be sealed by the service agreement in which the EAs will direct the government of where they will contribute. In fact the government will not fail its part for sure but the problem will be with the EAs part of contribution who the government will surely pronounce as the employers. An EA that fail its part as the employer will be deregistered and that is what is going to be done in the next 50 years. Mr Government can’t you see that you are just colouring the same pig with different colours as the well known story of Abarai of Malaita? We don’t that what the government is treading into is the true aspirations of all the teachers of this nation. He is serving the interest of somebody else other than the teachers.
Another glamorous point within the same tone of the aggrieved sentiment is that it’s the teaching service sector that has the public servants making an act for the teachers (civil servants) and giving them to be adopted by a lot of different and private home-stay families (EAs). Three different parties have been involved.
The warring signal here is that regardless of what, the teachers must be solely be involved and informed in every stage of the review. Even the legal draftsman must have the reviewed act to be interpreted to the teachers to get their comments on it. This is what we called the principles of oversight and scrutiny in policy formulation.
The object here is avowedly to procure an education act that is fair and just or else instead of doing what is good we are only incorporating a structural and institutional violence on the teachers. It’s a silent form of violence that oppresses people through what is written down and in this regards it is the teachers.
Therefore in this conclusion, I would put forward the request that should the education act did by-pass the teachers consent it should be brought back to the teachers before going to the AG chambers, the cabinet and even our dear parliament.