Sunday, September 24, 2023

BEC looks to London Cambridge to help mark exam papers

The Botswana Examination Council (BEC) says if the teachers do not turn up to mark the just ended examination papers for both the Form Three and Form Fives, the papers will be taken to Cambridge International Examination (CIE) based in London.

On the other hand, the teachers union says any teacher who goes to mark examination papers that they did not invigilate is a “hypocrite”.

Speaking to Sunday Standard, the Public Relations Officer of BEC, Charles Keikotlhae, said, “If the teachers decline to mark the examination papers, we may resort to taking the examinations to the CIE for marking. But that will be our last resort.”

He admitted that if they take that route, it will be very expensive and will delay the release of the results.

At the heart of the dispute between BEC and teachers is the remuneration to teachers for marlking and invigilating.

While BEC had wanted to cut costs, taking the papers to London for marking may defeat what goals the parastatal wanted to achieve.

Keikotlhae said that about 40 816 students registered for Form Three examinations and the BEC will need about 2 000 teachers to mark the junior certificate papers while 1 500 teachers will be needed to mark the exam papers for the Form Fives.

He said BEC needs teachers to come and mark the examination papers, adding that even private school teachers will be allowed to mark examination papers.

Keikotlhae said that although the examinations had just ended, there is one outstanding Form Three English Paper still to be written on the 24th of this month.

BEC had to postpone the examination after it was discovered that the paper had been leaked before it was written.

“Initially the paper was scheduled to be written on the 1st of this month. Unfortunately, the paper was leaked and it had to be re-scheduled,” he said.

Keikotlhae poured water on allegations that most of the students will not turn up to write the said paper.

“We are optimistic that the students will come in large numbers to seat for their last paper as has happened before,” he said.

The Secretary General of the Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU), Kwenasebele Modukanele, said, “It would be a set back if the BEC resorted to taking the examination papers to the CIE.”
He described the intended move that the BEC wants to take as a national embarrassment.
He said BOSETU still stands by its word that teachers will not go and mark the examinations papers until they resolve their differences with BEC.

Modukanele said the minister of Education and Skills Development, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, has promised to meet with the unions after the examinations are completed, saying the unions are ready to meet with the minister.


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