The Teaching Profession, The Internet, The Website And Joining The Information Age

In my country, South Africa, it is amazing and sad that many teachers, especially teachers in the black community, are still largely computer illiterate. Many of them are at sea when one talks about the internet or a website and their importance for research purposes. The largest teacher trade union-SADTU- The South African Democratic Teachers Union, has a membership of well over three hundred and fifty thousand teachers. Less than fifty thousand of them have computers with internet connection. This is simply depressing and saddening. It is depressing because the internet is the most powerful tool any teacher can have in aiding him or her in the profession of teaching.

The majority of teachers simply are not aware how much they are missing by being computer illiterate, and this is inexcusable. Some would argue that it is expensive to have a computer and an internet connection. Having been a teacher for thirteen years and resigning in the year 2006, I say this is simply not true. Go to any shopping mall at the end of each month and see how much teachers spend at restaurants with their girlfriends, wives or families. The money they spend on alcoholic drinks per month is more than enough to buy a computer- spot cash-and have an internet connection in the bargain. They also drive the latest BMW, Mercedes-Benz sedans and wear designer label clothes. What a shame!

Still more, you simply have to see the long queues at channel TV service provider outlets by people who pay up their monthly subscriptions. Most of them pay far in excess of what they would pay for a monthly internet subscription. What is worse is that they hardly ever sit in their couches to watch the numerous channels they pay for every month. It is perhaps a status symbol for people to see a DSTV dish on their roof tops. These are teachers mentally living in the industrial age. We are in the information age and they better wake up before they become obsolete as professionals.

When you tell them to check out your website for information on a certain topic or any website on the web for that matter, they simply gape at you, or sarcastically infer how clever you want to appear. The Internet is awash with free website builders that one can upgrade to paid sites once one is conversant with how a website works. I say a teacher who is not computer literate is a curse to the teaching profession. Worse still, if a teacher happens to have a computer and does not have an internet connection or a website, this is even the worst sin for the learners.

Most black public schools do not have adequate library facilities, so a computer with an internet connection is an absolute must. How does a teacher worth his salt expect to increase his or her knowledge and do research without this modern tool called the internet, is beyond my comprehension. Yet I remain hopeful hat this attitude will soon subside and when black teachers wake up, it will be with a bang. It is never too late.