TEACHERS who participated in a recent illegal strike claim the Education for All (EFA) initiative is a smokescreen to privatise education and sacrifice social sciences at the altar of the World Bank neo-liberal model of education, which is profit driven and not based on human needs.
The teachers stood outside the Teachers for EFA Policy Dialogue Forum in Windhoek yesterday with placards screaming “down neo-liberal ETSIP/MCA down World Bank”, “Forward to increased salaries”, “No to World Bank education”, “Resist World Bank education in Namibia” and “Decent income for teachers and nurses”.
They did not hand over a petition when education permanent secretary Alfred Iilukena came out to hear what the demonstration was about, and were asked to leave by the Safari Hotel management.
They left the premises and did not want to single out a spokesperson for the group because they said they had been intimidated, harassed with stones being thrown on the rooftops of their houses, and received death threats for their involvement in the teachers’ strike that was roundly quashed by the government and condemned by Swapo Party leaders.
“If you single out one teacher, what damage could be done?” one of the teachers said.
The demonstrating teachers further charged that those at the EFA forum – who they dubbed as “hand picked, part of Ilukena’s administration clerks” – were not even in the teaching profession and merely there to “rubber-stamp” the “World Bank model” of education that they fear will be adopted by Government.
Some conference-goers said the forum was largely to discuss teacher education, to improve the standard of teaching and professionalism in the education sector, and to “bring back dignity to the teaching profession”.