Katima Mulilo — The Teacher's Union of Namibia (TUN) has decided to boycott this year's commemoration of World Teacher's Day, as they feel they are being sidelined by the education, arts and culture ministry.
Speaking to the media in Katima Mulilo yesterday, secretary-general of TUN Mahongora Kavihuha said the union feels that the education ministry does not recognise TUN as a valued stakeholder.
This follows a circular which was released by the ministry on September 26, outlining various activities which will take place prior to Teacher's Day celebrations. Kavihuha says the fact that TUN was not mentioned in the circular as a valuable stakeholder and has been sidelined from all the preparations, was clear testimony that the ministry does not recognise TUN as a union representing some of the teachers in the country.
"In our guessing, we are assuming that the exclusion of TUN members by the ministry is on the basis that they are regarding TUN members not being their voice, neither valued partners nor stakeholders or at its minimum maybe on the basis of exclusive bargaining recognition agreement," stated Kavihuha.
Kavihuha further called on members of TUN and teachers' at large to boycott this year's celebrations. "There is very little if any for the teachers to celebrate this year, except mourning individually in their homes... hence the TUN position in urging all teachers to boycott the so-called ministry's World Teachers Day organised activities."
Efforts to get comment from the education ministry proved futile.
This year's World Teacher's Day will be commemorated in the Oshana Region tomorrow, where Education, Arts and Culture Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa will be the keynote speaker, while regional offices will also have mini-commemorations where the minister's speech will be read.