OTJIWARONGO: Learners at Otjiwarongo were left stunned on Tuesday when striking local teachers formed a noisy convoy and drove around the town hooting and ululating.
Teachers here have joined those in regions such as Khomas and Otjozondjupa who have over the last few days become increasingly vocal in their demands for salary adjustments and an increase in benefits such as transport and housing allowances.
More than 200 secondary and primary school teachers started striking here on Monday morning, marching from the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) regional office to the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, where they handed over a petition outlining a number of demands to Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, Rapama Kamehozu.
On Tuesday the same teachers regrouped at the Nantu office and formed a convoy of more than 50 vehicles.
They then drove around town, passing by Spes Bona Primary School, Paresis Senior Secondary School, Tsaraxa-Aibes Combined School and Orwetoveni Junior Secondary School while hooting and ululating.
The loud noise forced the few learners who had showed up for school today to walk out of their classrooms and watch the convoy as it drove by their schools.
The convoy was led by traffic officers from the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and the Otjiwarongo Municipality.
Otjozondjupa Regional Education Director, Faustina Caley in an interview with this news agency thanked the few schools here who continued with normal lessons for doing so.
She also stated that all striking teachers should be ashamed of themselves, saying the salary increment is still being negotiated and no deadlock has been reached which could have made them decide to strike.
When asked whether any action will be taken against the teachers, she said the Ministry of Education must pronounce itself on the proper action to be taken against all striking teachers in the country before something is done.
Meanwhile, Nantu’s Otjozondjupa Regional Chairperson, Peacock Mbakera on Tuesday called all of the union’s members involved in the strike to a closed door meeting held at the Paresis Secondary School Hall at 14h00.
The spokesperson of the Otjiwarongo teachers, Harris David Mpangala indicated in an interview that teachers here will strike until their salaries and benefits are increased.