Introduce Grade 7 notch for senior teachers

3
Introduce Grade 7 notch for senior teachers
Introduce Grade 7 notch for senior teachers

Kaatutjiua Mbinge

Africa-Press – Namibia. WITHIN the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the remuneration for Grade 7 does not exist at school level. The principal designation is a Grade 5 position whereas the head of department (HoD) is a Grade 6 post.

The rest of the teachers fall into Grade 8 and 9 category with their honours degree and diploma qualifications, respectively. Apart from setting a distinction in responsibilities and salary ranges, the grades are an indication of seniority in the government hierarchy.

For perspective, a teacher with an honours degree and 30 years’ experience finds themselves in Grade 8 with the assigned remuneration and related benefits. This is the same Grade 8 scale under which their former pupil, and now a B.Ed. honours graduate, with no teaching experience, will be remunerated at.

At best, senior teachers with vast experience are only rewarded, for lack of a better word, with the position of “phase head” – which is a formal position with administrative responsibilities – but with no related remuneration or other benefits. Until one becomes an HoD, their years of experience count for nothing.

Similarly, a teacher who expands their academic horizons and obtains a master’s degree or PhD remains on the same remuneration grade as a teacher with a bachelor’s or honours degree.

The issues arising from the brief background provided above is that these very experienced and/or well-read teachers feel unappreciated by the government, and do not hesitate to switch for greener pastures to the detriment of the education fraternity, a grave loss to the teaching profession.

The absence of Grade 7, a vacuum, has brought about a significant salary disparity between teachers at Grade 8 and 9 and their immediate supervisors – the HoDs – at Grade 6. For instance, the reviewed grade structure in the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) brought about the role of senior inspector, remunerated at Grade 6. This, among other things, is coupled with more senior responsibilities, to bridge the gap between a NamPol inspector [Grade 7] and their immediate supervisor, the chief inspector [Grade 5]. This article interrogates the introduction of the Grade 7 for teachers in public schools.

Grade 7

Introducing the Grade 7 remuneration in the teaching fraternity presents its own challenges, and topping the list of these challenges is the selection of candidates who are suited for this new role. Be that as it may, the benefits of introducing a Grade 7 salary notch are immeasurable. This introduction will go a long way in staff retention, improve work morale, bridge salary disparity

expand chain of supervision, and provide avenues for teacher academic enhancement.

Candidates

Because to provide quality teaching in schools, a bachelor’s degree is seen as an “enough’’ qualification, it will only be fair to promote the teachers with an excess of 10 years’ teaching experience, and who meet extra psychometric criteria which will be determined and administered by the government before one is promoted.

Among the myriad of responsibilities awaiting senior teachers – which they in most cases are already carrying out – is spearheading school-based novice teacher inductions with the support of HoDs and principals.

The teachers will furthermore lead curriculum support activities, and will also ease the administrative burden currently placed on the HoDs and principals. Although ideas are easy to write, implementation of strategic and mammoth ideas such as this requires extensive research, consultations and careful financial considerations with all stakeholders and administrators at all levels. This is to ensure policies and guidelines which pertain to public service are carefully explored and considered before introducing the envisaged grade. There will be a significant need for teacher training and development to ensure a smooth transition into the new roles of the teachers, and the responsibilities that tag along.

Alas, introducing the Grade 7 notch provides the government with an avenue to recognise and appreciate experienced and seasoned teachers who have for decades ensured that the Namibian child is educated.

Source: neweralive

For More News And Analysis About Namibia Follow Africa-Press

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here