As teachers commemorate the World Teachers Day, Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) reassured their commitment to uproot the corruption alleged to be taking place at the Teaching Service Commission (TSC).
In a statement issued by the teacher’s union during the World Teachers day on Monday, the union highlighted a number of myriad challenges faced by the educators in the country. This year (2020)’s teachers’ day is themed “Teachers Leading in Crisis: Re-imagining the Future”
The challenges raised by SNAT include the controversial corruption scandals surrounding the Teaching Service Commission. “Many of our comrades are unfairly treated at the TSC as they are made to pay bribes for placements, transfers, discipline and promotions. As a result, teachers face perennial problems such as casualization and sale of posts. This is a crisis that we are committed to uproot as the SNAT and we shall stop at nothing in getting this addressed.” Reads the statement.
On September 28 the organization reported the 25 cases to the Minister of Education and Training, Lady Mabuza and Principal Secretary Bertram Stewart. All the cases were claimed against the Teaching Service Commission.
Another thorn in the flesh for educators is under remuneration. This was drawn as a conclusion following a comparison with other teachers in the rest of the SADC region. SNAT says that the local teachers are not properly remunerated. Through the statement, SNAT Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini said the meagre salaries paid to the local teachers’ paints a gloomy picture about the future of the teaching profession in the country. Dlamini said the noble teaching profession is relegated in the background because it is not paying the teachers’ salaries that commensurate with the immense effort they put in emancipating the citizens of Eswatini from the bondage of ignorance.
SNAT also complains of fewer fringe benefits for teachers as the teachers are regarded as second-class when it comes to such benefits. The only benefit teachers get is the housing allowance of E601.00 before tax. Dlamini highlighted that teachers do not have medical aid, no car allowances to name but a few. SNAT hopes that the coming salary review will cater for the teachers’ fringe benefits and SNAT is committed to make sure that it happens.
The teachers’ union also cry foul over the local government’s failure to comply with existing Legislation. A case in point is the failure of Government to enforce other regulations such as Teacher-Pupil Ratio. According to SNAT currently each teachers handles 50 learners on average, far more that the 38 average as espoused in the Education Policies and Acts.
Meanwhile, SNAT said the Commemoration of the 2020 World Teachers Day (WTD) by the organization is not an act of heroinism nor an act of relevance so as to keep pace with other Global Teacher Unions; rather, it is an act of moral obligation and a responsibility that all has to embrace.