Teachers day: celebrating hypocrisy and political rascality

Last week Friday, teaching in all public schools came to a halt as teachers across the country converged to different halls, stadia to celebrate the annual National Teachers Day.

This year’s celebrations were marked under the theme: Teacher; A Change Agent for Global Competitive Human Resource and Economic Diversification. Amid all the pomp and fanfare that has characterised these celebrations for many years I have frustratingly observed that the manner in which the celebrations are carried out haven’t changed an inch since its inception in 1998.

The only notable changes are yearly themes that disguise the deeply entrenched hypocrisy that characterises the celebrations. Even though the  day is annually marked as a way of celebrating  the integrity, dignity and years of  immense contribution  teachers have made in  their selfless imparting of knowledge and skills to many generations of students, some of whom have gone on to become successful academics, entrepreneurs, policy makers, engineers and other drivers, movers and shakers of Botswana’s socio- economic landscape and even beyond, teachers are often relegated to the back bench and at the centre stage elites from the Ministry of  Education and Skills Development and other corporate oligarchs are often taking a centre stage and  fully commanding all the proceedings. One would rightly expect Teachers Day to be more teacher- centred where the teaching cadres turn the day into a carnival atmosphere characterised by celebratory marches, revolutionary songs and poetry, music, drama, etc. that are really reflective to teacher’s needs, concerns and aspirations. One would also expect thematic teacher welfare centered speeches and solidarity messages from revolutionary activists, teacher trade unions and other stakeholders who have all along shared the pain, sorrow, challenges that teachers face in their everyday working and living environment.

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