New Era (Windhoek)

7 November 2012

Namibia: Nanso Rallies Behind Teachers

Photo: New Vision
The teachers are striking over overdue salary increases and a lack of communication from their union leaders, who are engaged in the protracted wage negotiations with the government.(File Photo)

Windhoek — Consultative meetings with student representatives from the Khomas Region and the leadership of the Namibia National Student Organisation (Nanso) resulted in a decision by the organisation to lead a demonstration to the Office of the Prime Minister tomorrow.

Nanso says it wants to remind the government and teachers that the learners are the future of Namibia, and will therefore stage a peaceful demonstration and hand over a petition to the Office of the Prime Minister.

In a statement issued by Nanso's Vice-Secretary for Secondary and Basic Education, Herman Walter Rutz, the organisation reiterated its full support for teachers' demands for better salaries and conditions of service.

"We are fully aware of the teachers' living conditions, it has come a long way, yes we know, teachers are our parents, therefore we call on the Namibian Government to give what the teachers are requesting, they deserve it," said Rutz.

The student organisation also requested speedy negotiations and a written agreement between Nantu and the government as soon as this week so as to convince and prove to teachers that negotiations are at an advanced stage.

Furthermore, if such an agreement is published, the organisation urges teachers to return back to their schools and resume their duties.

"According to the learners, their exams are already interrupted since some learners were supposed to start with their exams last week, but they did not write because the teachers were not at school.

"The Namibian nation must be informed that education is a basic human right as enshrined in the Namibian Constitution - Article 20, under Chapter 3, which is the supreme law of the country and Nanso will continue to advocate for free quality education in Namibia," said Rutz.

As it stands, Nanso's planned peaceful march to the Office of the Prime Minister will coincide with the illegal strike that is in its second week, and has resulted in several arrests and a court interdict by the Ministry of Education against the Interim Khomas Teachers Strategic Committee to end the unlawful strike.

However, the teachers have vowed to maintain their stance until they receive benefits that include a 20 percent salary increment, a non-taxable 13th cheque, as well as higher housing and transport allowances.

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