//Karas teachers brace for strike
With the official celebration of Teachers’ Day cancelled, teachers in the //Karas Region yesterday gathered to be briefed on the strike rules and the way forward for the impending strike.
Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) regional executive committee chairperson Moses Afrikaner addressed the teachers – most of them from the Kalahari circuit – under a tree at Keetmanshoop on the rules of the national strike that is set to start next Thursday.
The teachers sang and danced as they gathered, but Afrikaner was clear that people should not be confused into thinking teachers in the region are already on strike, stating that the meeting was merely an information-sharing platform.
“This was not a demonstration, as such. We were just here to disseminate the strike rules, because we want our members to refrain from violent acts and so on,” he said.
He further said the union has so far covered all circuits in the region and he is thus confident that the members are well informed on what is expected of them when the strike starts.
Afrikaner called on the teachers to stand united, stressing that unity is strength and therefore teachers should stand together as one.
He also called on those who have not yet made up their minds on whether to strike or not, to stand up and join their fellow teachers. “We’re calling on those who still have doubts on whether to join the strike to come over to our side so we can stand together for a common purpose,” he stated.
Asked how he felt as a parent about the effect the strike might have on learners, he said the strike would not only have an impact on the learners, but the Namibian education system as a whole and it is not up to the parents but rather the government to find a solution.
“I believe it’s up to the government [to solve the problem]. I’m a parent and I’m leaving my child in the capable hands of the government. It’s for the government to decide what will happen to my child,” he said.
Some teachers said they are prepared to stand their ground until government concedes to their demand for an 8 percent wage increase.