Month: May 2020

Are teachers being too precious during COVID-19?

Are teachers being too precious or is it their union which are out of touch with the rest of the community and or their members. While doctors and nurses have been puttings their health at risk,  working in a environment which could place them and their loved ones at risk it seems that teachers are being a little precious. Teachers or  rather their union have continued to state that their members are reluctant to return to work because they feel that the environment is unsafe. Lets compare the teachers environment to say a worker within a supermarket environment who is more at risk, lets look at cleaners who  are entering environments which have housed hundreds of people working around possible contaminated services daily, what about people working in public transport such as bus drivers.  I think it is fair to say that a teachers work environment is no more dangerous than any of these environments yet we have heard no complaints from any of these workers. Unions can be important if operated in a sensible non political way but it was embarrasing listening to a Union rep on talk back radio several weeks ago complaining that teachers had not been trained in cleaning methods, or that they wanted extra cleaning carried out within schools, which to our knowledge was already happening in all schools. Our view is that the teachers union have been one of the worst performers amidst this Coronavirus it would be interesting to note if they have been on full pay while not working. The questions that is important here is does  the union represent the majority of its members or is it out of line with it’s members and do teachers want to get back to work. I guess this will tell us if our teachers are as dedicated as doctors nurses, cleaners, supermarket workers or whether thet are just a bunch of prescious whinges and that is why our education results compared to many other nations has gone backwards.

What-COVID 19-has-taught-us-about-leadership-cultures-& countries

Which countries have handled COVID 19 best and shown true leadership.  The UK has been in lockdown for over a 7 weeks yet has the 2nd highest death rate to the US, even though it has some clear geographical advantages being an island.  The testing rate in the UK has from day one been extremely low and is playing catch-up with other nations who have performed well. It came as a shock when last week we became aware that over 10,000 visitors a day arrive at Heathrow airport and wander out into the local community each day. A further 5,000 arrive through other UK airports. This makes a total mockery of shutdown as many of these visitors are arriving from hot spots such as New York,  New Jersey, Italy and Spain. It is only now that the UK is considering placing arrivals into quarantine, somewhat a little late given that over 70,000 people per week have been allowed to enter the country. While Boris Johnson may survive this appaling lack of leadership and a common sense approach because of his popularity, this is a stuff up of monumental proportions. Germany on the other hand is amidst other european nations  who have had significantly higher death rates, yet it has  managed the virus with typical German efficiency. Testing rates have been amongst the higest in the world from the outset and have managed to contain the virus to signifcantly low levels when compared to other european nations such as Italy, Spain, France and UK. Germans continually set benchmarks for others to follow, whether it is in Engineering or sport they are clear leaders when it comes to doing things the correct way. Taiwan is another nation that has performed extremely well acting very quickly, with high testing rates they contained the virus very quickly. It is a shame that the World Health Organisation does not recognise their achievements and clearly shows that these organisations are politicised organisations. The US is a different beast altogether having 360 million people makes it much harder to manage, The US culture is also one of freedoms and lack government trust citing the 2nd ammendment often in times such as this. While The US acted quickly on stopping flights from China, it was slow to react in other ways and its testing rates per capita have always been low. Australia and New Zealand have clear geographical advantages but combined with good leadership and prompt response they have clearly shown other nations how this should be done. Both these countries acted relatively quickly by implementing strict self isolation procedures, closing domestic and international borders with mandatory and supervised quarantines for arrivals. While there have been clear mistakes made such as the Ruby Princess debacle which if handled differently would have reduced infection and death rates significantly more. The culture of Australians adhering to government rules and gudelines has demonstrated how these types of issues should be handled. However this pandemic comes in two equally important forms the number of deaths and economic recovery – this is not a sprint it is a marathon and only time will tell which countries handled this virus the best way.