2023-11-29 21:40

Kobus van Wyk

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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