Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Big things have been happening in Nam this past week! Recently I started to hear my colleagues talking about going on strike, for lack of a salary increase, in addition to benefits and several other things like transportation and housing allowances. Teachers have been unhappy with the way that the teachers' union was negotiating with the government for them. I didn’t think that anything would spread all the way down to Luderitz – my school has a lot of teachers, and though I love them, they are mostly apathetic about things/mobilizing 30 teachers is a big task for anyone.  People had been talking here and there about strikes but I definitely did not think anything would come of it. Well guess who was wrong?! Last Tuesday during our staff meeting I saw a very energized group of people ready to join the striking cause. The rest of the teachers in Luderitz were called and, from what I was told about the meeting, they decided it was time to join the other regions that were striking. And so the Luderitz schools went on strike starting last Wednesday. Kind of bummed that I didn’t get to give my kids Halloween candy, but ah well. Thursday they marched around town, going to the Mayor’s office and then outside town to the Regional Councilor’s office. By the end of last week the strikes seemed to have spread to most of the country. We were supposed to have two weeks left before exams, and I am not done with my marks, so I’m getting pretty anxious about that! Also, if this continues any longer I’m going to be legitimately quite bored. I have exhausted all my external hard drive’s media, and also planning for my world tour after COS for the moment, so I really need to find a hobby, and asap.

Anyway, when it comes to this striking business, we Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to get involved, just stay home if they’re marching and don’t teach if the strikes spread to our schools. The situation is complex, and pretty interesting I think, so here are a couple of links to articles you can read if you have any interest in knowing what’s been going on – especially regarding the now strained relationship between Namibian teachers and the main teacher’s union of Namibia, NANTU, and the talks between NANTU and the government/Ministry of Education.

PS fingers crossed that if the negotiations go according to schedule and finish Wednesday that we should be back to teaching on Thursday!

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