By Akut Francis
(Cc: Jesus Christ and all the teachers)
A portmanteau of “sheep” and “people” is a term of disparagement in which people are likened to sheep, a herd animal. The term is used to describe those who voluntarily acquiesce to suggestions “involuntarily” without critical analysis or research. By doing so, they undermine their own ‘fours’ (individuality, worth, competence and thinking), and may willingly give up their rights. (Wikipedia)
Being said, I think it is time teachers took on the world head on and disrupt matters. I mean correct matters!. For long, other professions, Medicine, Engineering, Law, Accounting and even Plumbing, have organized themselves in such a manner that they set their own terms and how their target audiences relate with them and their services. In fact, they even go ahead and ensure that they are legally protected to set and justify their terms.
Take the supposedly learned lawyers for example. They set their own parameters of fees. So too do the auditors, accountants, bankers, slay queens etc. The trickery of these professions is that they have refused to be ‘pooled’ into masses that are moved about anyhow by the powers that be, etc. They restrict entry into their profession too, by introducing and controlling numbers via setting examinations that determine your worth.
Lawyers here have the Diploma, LLB in Law and interns, Accountants have CPA and CPS, ad infinitum. What of the teaching profession? The profession is run belter skelter. During the early public University days (of the old Sudan), only a few slots were reserved for the so-called ‘tough’ professions for ‘toughies’: medicine, engineering, law, economics, and then, the rest of the population, Education! So, what sorts of disruptions should teachers consider and protect with their brains? Read:
1) Ensure that Free Education is abolished (or entirely placed on the goverment’s shoulder as their sole mandate in regard to service delivery and provision) to the citizens. Anyone who wants to get an education MUST pay for it and pay for it based on the profession’s fee guidelines.
2) Teachers must campaign to eradicate the practice of being pooled and hauled into zombie masses. Henceforth, Teachers should set private practice, e.g. Ustaz AKUT FRANCIS’ & ASSOCIATES, PEDAGOGUES AT EDUCATION. Remuneration of teachers then will be based on their own quality and ability to mobilize students to their private practice.
3) All the commissions in the largely dysfunctional Education unbrella or ‘tent’ for that matter, to be miniaturized or even abolished and one Association of Certified Teachers of South Sudan (ACToSS) formed under law. Other equally useless subcompacts in the Education ministry should be abolished and never invented again. So too should the Ministry of Education be abolished. This Association of Certified Teachers of South Sudan will take over the accreditation of Universities to implement Faculties of Education, set and manage a post graduate practice-certification exam and give the right to use title TEACHER (Tr) to qualified persons.
4) The Association of Certified Teachers of South Sudan (ACToSS) will also provide the following functions: a) Run a national directory of certified teachers, b) Register the Private practices of certified teachers, c) set the minimum and maximum fees for education, d) ensure the constitution has provisions for The Chief Teacher of South Sudan, Deputy Chief Teacher of South Sudan, Director of Educational Disputes of South Sudan, President of Teaching Quality of South Sudan, e) accreditation of the ‘Senior Teacher’ milestone title for experienced teachers, e) Set the standards of entry for University studies f) Ensure that ALL legally constituted professional bodies in South Sudan (South Sudan Law Society, BAR Association, South Sudan Rights Defenders, Judiciary, Council of Magistrates, Human Rights Commision etc) have in their board a seat for a Teacher who will represent the interests of quality teaching of those professions and, g) ensure that all legislative bodies (National and State) have a special seat reserved for the teaching profession, which will be manned by a qualified Senior Teacher and who shall go by the title, The Teacher General, h) Manage the code of conduct of teachers.
5) Teachers must refuse to have politicians and parents and lawyers determine how their profession should be run. They have to run their own show, on their own terms.
6) Teachers must refuse to be given the tasks such as installing discipline, guidance and counselling, etc, unless they advertise these as add-one to their private practice.
Unless we teachers take back our profession, (we) shall continue to be used by other professions to experiment and demonstrate inventory enslavement as they secure their space and bread.
With no winks, I say ARISE TEACHERS! ARISE!