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Strikes By Teaching Resources Cause Collateral Damage

Opinion / October 18, 2013

The strikes by the teaching resources in our schools, apart from depleting the schooling content of students, are creating a backlash with the public. Parents having to fund childcare or take time off work to care for the displaced schoolchildren are hard pressed to find support for the teaching unions actions.

The schooling of children is limited to just 196 days a year. Lost time due to strikes cannot be recovered. The standard of our educational programme and exam results have not been anything to shout about. Our schooling achievement is the result of a combination of moral sapping initiatives for teachers and inappropriate curriculum for the real world. We are also in a recession where, despite government statistics showing growth many families are in substantial financial strife. Pensions are under attack, workload increased as employers cut back on staff. It is a far worse situation than the current focus of our teaching resources.

Life in the private sector holds a more substantial struggle. Pay and conditions in the public sector, long hailed as subservient to the private sector now exceed it by around five per cent. Whilst commiserating with the objectives of the teaching unions they are acting in stark comparison to many people in the private sector who are suffering more severe financial consequences of the economic situation yet have not gone on strike or damaged the schooling of children.

The lot of a teacher cannot be compared easily with any commercial environment. The pressures, constraints, rewards and remuneration are different. But the consequences for school children if they get it wrong are dire. We need a highly skilled and motivated workforce to move with the changing world that our children will enter. Their education is vital in content and relevance. At the moment the balance between their needs and the quality of service provided is sadly mismatched. Going on strike in these troubled times, which can only create further strife for students and parents is not the way to win support or resolve the quality of the service they are obliged to supply.


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