As the number of Covid-19 cases in Botswana snowball, the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) says it has not been spared the wrath of the virus which is flattening and decimating everything in its path.
The Union says it has so far lost two teachers to Covid-19 since the outbreak of the deadly virus in 2019.
In spite of this, the Ministry of Basic Education has taken a firm decision to re-open government schools in phases in order to curb the effects of the virus.
Union president Gotlamang Otsile, confirmed to this publication that at least two teachers, who were BTU members, have already lost their lives due to coronavirus.
“It is true that BTU has lost its two members due to this deadly virus,” he said. He said the two, a male and a female aged between 45 and 55 were from Letlhakane area and Palapye region. He added that BTU is deeply worried about the loss and also wondered how many of its members will lose their lives due to the disease.
“As you are aware the identity of those who died due to the corona virus are not divulged due to stigmatisation and we have to respect that,” he said. He said more teachers and students are highly likely to contract the disease if COVID-19 protocols are not observed.
“It will be very unfortunate if we can allow this disease to ruin our lives as we will be left with no teachers and this will also affect our education system badly,” he said. He however applauded the move by the ministry of basic education to call unions under one roof to discuss how schools should be reopened.
“BTU would like to salute and commend the ministry for the good job that it has done by calling its stakeholders to discuss about the disease and how to reopen schools,” said Otsile. He stated that his organisation also shares the same sentiments with the ministry of basic education that schools should be reopened in phases as that will assist in closely observing the disease.
Otsile insisted that if push comes to shove, schools will be closed to control and avoid teachers and learners from contracting the disease. He appealed to both teachers and students to always follow the COVID-19 protocols. Last Thursday, the Minister of Basic Education, Fidelis Molao, announced that this year public schools will be re-opened in phases.