Teachers from the Southern African region are expected to converge in Botswana this coming Easter Holidays for the 5th Edition of the annual Association of Non Aligned Teachers Union of Southern Africa (ANTUSA) games.
The games, which will be hosted by the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU), under the theme: “Well Remunerated Teachers in Safe Schools: A Must for Quality Education in the SADC Region,” will be played at the Mogoditshane Senior Secondary.
Speaking in an interview, BOSETU Publicity Secretary, Solomon Batsietswe, said the games are meant to give teachers time to ‘unwind and discuss issues that affect them in their day to day jobs.’
“These games are meant to promote wellness among teachers, while also inculcating in them the very same values that they impart on their students,” the BOSETU Publicity Secretary said.
According to Batsietswe, the teachers will compete in four disciplines, namely men’s soccer, ladies’ netball, volleyball and basketball.
Among the unions expected to compete are BOSETU, Professional Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Basic Educators Trade Union of Zambia (BETUZ), Teachers’ Union of Namibia (TUN), Progressive Educators Union (PEU) from South Africa and Lesotho Teachers Trade Union (LTTU).
Batsietswe said they are expecting more than 1700 teachers from regional countries as well as multitudes from within Botswana. South Africa is expected to send the largest contingent for the games, with its confirmed number of attendees said to be 1000 teachers, while Zambia will send 300, Namibia 200, Zimbabwe 140 and Lesotho 130 teachers.
He said when games started in 2008, there were only three disciplines that the teachers competed in, namely football, netball and volleyball. This year will, however, see the addition of Basketball into the fold of disciplines teachers will compete in.
Meanwhile, the BOSETU Publicity Secretary said he expects Botswana to do well during the games. He said save for 2011 when Botswana did not fully participate due to public sector strike, the country has done well during the games and he expects this year to be no different.
“We have done fairly well during the past games and our netball team has been dominant. As hosts for this year’s edition of the games, we are hopeful of putting a dominant display,” Batsietswe said.
The first ANTUSA games were hosted by Botswana in 2008 and this will be the second time the country hosts the games. Batsietswe said teachers are expected to arrive in the country on the 28th of this month for the games.
“On their arrival, we expect to take them on a tour of Gaborone and surrounding areas before hosting them for some entertainment that very same evening. The games will then commence the following day, from morning till afternoon. On that same evening, we will have a panel discussion by union Presidents to discuss teachers’ welfare as well as other issues related to our trade in the region,” the BOSETU Public Secretary said. He added that the final games will be played on the 30th and will be preceded by an awards ceremony and the official closing.
Apart from the games, there will also be a cultural night during the games where teachers will showcase the cultures of their various countries.