When doctors neglect duties, an instant impact is seen eg unattended patients languishing in agony, even dying. When security men neglect duties, lawlessness is seen immediately, …
On the contrary, when a teacher neglects duties, the (lazy) students enjoy the idle time; and some parents even like it when their children come back home early to help with some chores. Nobody feels the pinch immediately, so nobody cares much. The impact is only felt years later usually when it is too late.
No wonder many people belittle teachers. Teachers don’t seem to have an immediate noticable impact on people’s lives. Thus, an average Malawian sees no immediate need to be concerned with teachers. Even govt leaders see no merit in bringing teacher issues to the fore.
I strongly believe that all professions are equally important. Lawyers are as important as teachers; security people are as important as medical people, accountants are as important as engineers, … Sadly, when it comes to recognition, respect, protection and reward, teachers get the thinnest slice.
It must be understood that teachers do NOT necessarily need special favours. All they want is EQUAL reward, recognition, respect, protection as the other professionals. Just a fair share.
Arguably, our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education; and no progress can be achieved with a demotivated workforce. The more we suppress/oppress teachers, the more we put our education progress on hold.
Yes, you can force teachers into classrooms, but you can’t force them to teach. Teaching is done best when one is psychologically prepared. Otherwise, demotivated teachers have the capacity to kill the nation slowly and silently. God forbid!?
So, next time you start wondering why education standards are declining, remember to reflect on your personal as well as on our (national) attitude towards teachers and how you/we treat them.