“Measure a man’s worth by his actions alone. For the devil also promises the moon!”
― Avijeet Das
I read about the Teacher strikes in America with a great amount of trepidation and anxiety the past two weeks. Of recent, I find myself losing patience with the apathy and actions not matching our words when it comes to education and health when it comes to children. We whine a lot about changing things and desiring change. Yet, we are resigned to just complaining and not matching our desires with work.
You want better teachers for your children; then push for more teacher development and support a revitalization in the educational sector. What do we do instead; someone posts about needing support for a training for teachers and total silence. Then yet another posts about creating a fashion show and there is an avalanche of folks ready to sponsor that program.
What is baffling to me is that the need for education and training has never been greater in this era of great uncertainties. There has been so much redundancy in education and in health with no efforts made to restore things back to how they used to be. I strongly believe that investing in education is good for all our futures and there we can avert the looming disaster that is our teeming lack of skilled labor- students who are highly equipped for the future. Major European economies, such as France and Germany, are increasing investment in education. In the middle east, Dubai, Qatar and Abu-Dhabi have also been building their human resource capital via massive funding in education especially in the STEM fields.
The saddest thing is the situation with our schools are worsening, the equipment being used has most of is decades old. Rusted Bunsen burners and battered test tube racks are mostly seen. Old textbooks still being used to pass on knowledge which has advanced passed what is in them.
Keeping teachers happy and motivated is a huge issue. Most schools stretch their teachers to the bone, maximizing their usage of them without retraining them or giving them the support that they need. It is no surprise that the teachers who choose to stay either really are mostly just working to earn a paycheck without their hearts in it.
Large numbers of teachers are simply in the profession just to keep their bodies together- increasing class sizes, horrible teacher pay conditions, and horrendous workloads all play a part in this. We mostly have inexperienced or non-specialist teachers working with our students.
Teaching losses mean that students are increasingly being taught subjects by non-specialists especially in STEM fields because the STEM experts are wary of the horrible pay teachers make and would rather work in any other field than education. To attract and keep bright recruits, we need more money in education.
So, I listen to folks who complain about how we can’t find good workers and how a lot of our children are barely literate but don’t support educational seminars, workshops or programs on tv but are eager to sponsor entertainment programs and their ilk, then I wonder, who is fooling who?
Adetola Salau; Educator / Speaker / Author/ Social Entrepreneur / Innovator
She is an Advocate of STEM Education and is Passionate about Education reform. She is an innovative thinker and strives for our society & continent as a whole to reclaim it’s greatness. She runs an educational foundation with the mission to transform education.