Monday, September 6, 2010

The Real Victims of the Strike


While concerned parents of learners are hoping and praying that striking public servants will today accept government’s latest wage increase offer, there is growing concern that educators entrusted to ensure favourable matric results, will not be able to make up lost time and that papers may include work that was never covered in classrooms.

In early August before the strike began, I had the pleasure of attending the Youth in Construction event, which saw over 3500 school learners pass through its doors. Besides introducing them to a range of career options that perhaps they wouldn’t have considered, it also gave them exposure to organisations offering bursaries and learnerships.

I don’t recall any of the young guests inquiring about becoming a bricklayer, a wheelbarrow operator, or the gentleman who waves the flag when it’s safe to pass. Huge interest was shown in the engineering, design and architecture displays with many learners wanting to know what subjects they need to pass, in order to follow those career paths.

While teachers hold out for an extra couple of hundred Rand, I can’t help wondering if they give any consideration at all, to whom the real victims of the strike are.

Ernest Roper
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