Teachers deserve more credit for hard work
FIRST, let me congratulate the 2016 Grade 12 pupils who passed. Those who did not make it must not surrender because there are number of options available for them.
Every profession has its own pressure and challenges. Nevertheless, I have reason to believe that the teaching profession is the one that subjects those who are working within it – teachers – to the most pressure.
I guess because teachers are assigned with the crucial task and responsibility of shaping and preparing the leaders and professionals of tomorrow.
It is because of teachers that, in our society, we have lawyers, doctors, technicians, engineers and other professionals.
Teachers are also acting in loco parentis.
They are not only teaching pupils, but they are also acting in the place of parents when pupils are in their custody at school.
I sometimes wonder whether people do realise the significant role that teachers play in life.
When Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the results, it emerged
there was an improvement in terms of the national pass percentage, that includes progressed pupils in 2016 compared with the 70 percent of 2015. Accolades were given to all the stakeholders in education for their efforts which contributed to the pass rate.
I thought of teachers. The pressure and challenges that they are subjected to crossed my mind. There are so many teachers who go the extra mile.
They sacrifice a lot to ensure that pupils become better people tomorrow.
They work tirelessly, day and night, to bring out the best in pupils.
I say day and night because teachers also work at home at night. They prepare lessons and they mark pupils’ books and scripts, for example, during the time they should be spending with their families.
Even during the school holidays, teachers work – perhaps to meet deadlines.
There is an “accountability session”quarterly, when teachers must account for the academic performance of pupils.
Teachers are called to account when pupils are failing. They are expected to explain the reasons that might have led to the unfavourable results of pupils.
There are those pupils who do not take their school work seriously and when they fail, the poor teachers must still account for that.
There is a record of some pupils who do not attend school regularly, they come to school late, they do not attend all the subject lessons, they do not do their homework or assignments, and they do not attend extra lessons or morning and afternoon classes.
Furthermore, over-crowding of pupils in classrooms, lack of resources, insufficient learning and teaching material, ill-disciplined pupils, the use of drugs, gambling, bullying and fighting with other pupils are some of the challenges that teachers encounter.
There are even pupils who insult and assault teachers.
The salaries that teachers are paid are something of a serious concern compared with their work load.
Regardless of all these challenges we see teachers always being passionate, diligent and industrious.
I pay tribute to all teachers for their sterling work. They deserve more credit. Temba, Hammanskraal
WRITE TO US
APPRECIATION: Teachers have to be passionate, diligent and industrious, says the writer. They put in a huge amount of effort, even during school holidays so that pupils can pass.