IV The exodus

Can one put blame on teachers who

  Decide to leave the school

For them it seems the best to do

  This has become the rule

 

A sev’rance package some do take

  They end their services

Elsewhere they try to make a break

  Chase better promises

 

Some leave the country – join the fray –

  They to the schools are lost

And those who do decide to stay

  Do so at such great cost

 

To Canada a crowd is lured

  To take up teaching posts

In England are some jobs secured

  In hosts leave local coasts

 

Some think Australia is hot

 Or U S A is cool

Kuwait‘s attracting quite a lot

  From a decreasing pool

 

To all the corners of the earth

  They leave spate after spate

To work far from their land of birth

  A Diaspora great

 

It’s true that some of them come back

  Strange shores are not their scene

Schools there also on a wrong track

  The grass is not so green

 

Most of these ones will teach no more

  Some other jobs they’ll find

No matter how much you implore

  The school they leave behind

 

Other professions also pinch

  They steal the very best

At times amazing deals are clinched

  With the fast dwindling rest

 

Insurance companies poach some

  With Maths within their means

Actuaries they now become

  To help them count the beans

 

Some teachers are now self employed

  They start their own concern

Their exit leaves a gaping void

  No more will they return

 

The teacher corps – reducing fast –

  Skills lost to schools for good

One hoped they would forever last

  Leave – never thought they would

 

Not even money them can keep

  Such offers they ignore

Great benefits are theirs to reap

  Beyond the school room’s door

 

AIDS too is taking a large toll

  The greatest tragedy

The net effect on teaching role

  A huge catastrophe

 

At first when Sir or Miss gets sick

  From school they stay away

Their flame becomes a smould’ring wick

  The learners start to stray

 

There is no way schools can replace

  A teacher who has breath

Bizarre it is – a most strange case –

  One has to wait for death

 

When – over time – these teachers die

  And new ones are employed

A fact one simply can’t deny

  There still remains a void

 

If teachers are not there to teach

  And kids are left alone

There’s no one who their minds could reach

  In real terms – on their own

 

The teaching skill pool thus does shrink

  By death and the brain drain

A good solution one would think

  New teachers one must train

 

But teachers youths don’t want to be

  The last choice on their list

In vision they themselves do see

  A famous physicist

 

Finance and commerce draw a flow

  They skim off all the cream

To law and med’cine young ones go

  The status they esteem

 

Some try to be entrepreneurs

  The lure of money great

In competition with their peers

  They nibble at this bait

 

Perhaps computer programming

  To learners would appeal

Or maybe it is marketing

  Which gets their minds to reel

 

Since teachers’ salaries are low

  They’d rather look elsewhere

The school’s the last place they would go

  When they for life prepare

 

Old colleges are closing down

  Where teachers once were trained

On this profession young ones frown

  New entrants – few are gained

 

The teachers leaving are far more

  Than those who’re entering

This system rotten to the core

  A sore that’s festering

 

If all the teachers disappear

  How can the system cope

At this point – dangerously near –

  One’s left without much hope

 

There’s an illusion that exists

  Things are not quite so bleak

Some see the odd good school persists

  But this is just a freak

 

Small pockets of prosperity

  Complacency may breed

Not seeing the inequity

  May sometimes one mislead

 

A teacher one still finds today

  Who is not qualified

A due to learners can not pay

  Can’t serve as a good guide

 

When teachers subject knowledge lack

  And content stores are low

Their ignorance – a great drawback –

  A far cry from a pro

 

It’s sad when those teaching are slack

  – Stay on a low plateau –

Some slow to cultivate the knack

  To let their know-how grow

 

Do not be too quick to condemn

  Some deeply bear a scar

Of past injustices to them

  They still can’t raise the bar

 

But sessions meant to help prepare

  They often do not use

In aid provided do not share

   Empowerment refuse

 

The learner is the victim here

  No one to guide the mind

With ignorant ones at the steer

  The blind just lead the blind

 

Among school staff morale is low

  So low – it’s a disgrace –

The teaching flame – hardly aglow –

  No learning taking place

 

Some schools are now dysfunctional

  Just like an empty shell

Teaching in them – illusional –

  First hint of their death knell

 

One wonders – while these perils loom –

  Where teachers can be found

The future – full of doom and gloom –

  Could one turn this around

 

This is a picture dark indeed

  Which over time evolved

Do find some answers some would plead

 Help get this mess resolved

 

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