The President of the Botswana Secondary Schools Teachers Union, Shandukani Hlabano, has threatened that they will take the Minister of Education and Skills Development to Court if the Ministry does not desist from forcing its members to invigilate examinations.
Hlabano says that it was wrong for the ministry to do that as court has ruled that it was not their members’ duty to invigilate examinations.
“We will not hesitate to take the Ministry to Court as what they are doing is illegal and contemptuous, “he said.
Hlabano added that they are continuing to receive reports that their members from across the country are being forced to invigilate, which he said was causing great concern.
Asked if there are any new developments in the negotiations between them and the Botswana Examinations Council on the issue of invigilating and marking the examinations scheduled to start next month, he said there are new developments but that they are still waiting for the Botswana Examination Council in order to open up negotiations on the matter.
“We are still waiting for the Council to engage us but so far they have not done so,” he said.
He also described as “ill advised” the suggestion that retired teachers would be drawn in to invigilate and mark examination papers, saying that marking and invigilating is not as easy as the MOE authorities seem to think.
”You do not just pick anyone from the street and ask them to invigilate and mark examinations. This is a special task that needs trained people. I do not think there are currently any retired teachers who would be able to mark examinations and, besides, the credibility of examinations will be questioned if they are marked by such people,” he said.
On what he thinks will be the best solution for the problem, he said the solution to the problem will be for the Council to go back to the table with them to engage in negotiations.
If this is not done, he said, they will not budge on their demands and their members will not invigilate or mark the examinations.
For his part, the spokesperson of BOSETU, Mogomotsi Motshegwa, said that they are encouraged by reports that some parents in Gaborone North have approached the MOE to complain about their children’s examinations being invigilated and marked by people picked from the streets.
According to him this was a welcome action by concerned parents who are anxious to know about the future of their children.
The Botswana Examinations Council authorities were not available to comment.