Thursday, May 23, 2024

“Bring back school sport” – BOSETU

The refusal by government to recognize extra-curricular activities conducted by teachers outside teaching hours the performance of athletes in the international arena.  

The non-existence of school sport has also brought societal ills to schools. There is moral decay. This observation was made by the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) at a recent conference held in Palapye. 

BOSETU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari has said the conference resolved that the school sport should be brought back.

“The school sport is the reservoir of producing national pride (top class athletes). It is also another stream of diversifying the economy” explained Rari.

The staunch unionist, Rari. is adamant that had the school sport been active, more world class athletes could be produced.

“Teachers through school sport have unearthed talent. They have been pivotal in indentifying talent at young age. Since there is no school sport there is vacuum in identifying talent,” regrets Rari.

On the painful side that has been brought by the absences of school sport is that the rate of intoxication, drug abuse and indiscipline has crept in observed Rari.

He said the BOSETU conference has resolved that the school sport must returned in accordance with trade unions terms.

“We do not want our members to labour for nothing. We want them to be paid over time in accordance with the conditions of service for public servants,” Rari emphasized.

Rari further explained that teachers are not being unreasonable. “We only want teachers to be paid for extra work they do while engaged in sport. We are not asking government to pay for their sport skills.” he said.

On the suggestions of brining people from outside schools to coach and drill kids, BOSETU said it has no problem with that.

“If they want to use a different model it’s their choice. We do not have problem with that. Our concern is that teachers should be remunerated for extra work they do,” he said.

He cautioned that in the past sport trainers were brought from outside but since they did not understand how to handle the students there were cases of abuse and harassment.

“Teachers are central in the process of nurturing kids both in academics and in sports. They have built a rapport and know how to take care of the students. Rapport of skills of taking care and parenting.” Rari advised on why teachers should be used in school sports. He also opined that teachers have an amorous relationship with kids and in terms of ethics they know what they can do and cannot do.

BOSETU has recently met with high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Sport, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) on how best they could address the impasse that has affected sport negatively in the country.

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