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Page added on April 11, 2011
The condition of school teachers in this country cannot be described as enviable. The least said about them in terms of living conditions the better.
This medium has been following keenly the unfolding drama in our school system and the pitiful condition teachers find themselves in.
Thus, it is an overstatement to suggest that teaching is one of the most vulnerable professions one is obliged to enter into. It’s like a death trap in the struggle for human survival.
As a matter of fact, this is the profession many have opted for due to lack of alternatives. Given the employment situation in a post-war country like ours, many young graduates have had no other choice but to enter the classroom, albeit grudgingly.
It is sad to note that it is only the teacher who is recruited (formally employed) and continues to work for a number of years without any legitimate source of income.
Today, precisely in the last three years or so, more than seven thousand teachers have been teaching in various schools across the country but have neither been recognized as employees of government nor listed on any payroll.
Sadly for our unfortunate compatriots, nobody seems to hear their cry or at worse ask them to cease teaching. Yet, under difficult circumstances, these teachers continue to render their services selflessly.
Indeed, no other public sector workers have been subjected to this slave-like condition – working without pay, thereby exposing the said teachers to pubic ridicule.
What has heightened the plight of these teachers is the apparent failure on the part of the Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU) to agitate on behalf of our unfortunate brothers and sisters such that it can yield a positive dividend. Instead, it has all been promises, promises, and more promises.
At Sierra Express Media, we view this prevailing situation as a direct violation of the rights of the teachers to a (decent) way of life, a fundamental human right that must be respected at all times.
Truly, teaching is a noble profession; in traditional society teachers were held in high esteem; they occupied an enviable place in the community; hence the dignity of the teacher was paramount.
Today, the story of the teacher is a sad one.
We view this reversal in the status quo as most unfortunate. The trend must be reversed. Teachers deserve respect and dignity, that is, if quality education should remain a desirable goal for posterity.
In light of the foregoing, we urge those responsible for the welfare of teachers in this country to do everything humanly possible to approve the existing number of teachers not yet on pay roll and pay their salaries without further delay.
This is our humble appeal on behalf of our hapless teachers.
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