By Reuben Pitse
he Ministry of Education and Skills Development MoESD is said to have bowed to political pressure from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to transfer majority of the teaching staff at Good/hope Senior Secondary School who have been accused of supporting Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the just ended by election in the constituency.
At least 18 teachers and part of management from the senior school will be transferred to other schools.
Information reaching this publication suggests that MoESD’s decision to transfer the teaching staff at Goodhope Senior to other schools came after it emerged that they were actively involved in politics.
It is understood that some teachers were secretly influencing eligible students to vote for UDC during school lessons prior to the elections.
This publication has learnt that some members of the BDP at Goodhope/Mabule constituency approached the school management about the teachers’ involvement in politics. The matter was also reported to the ministry.
Responding to The Telegraph questions, Ministry of Education spokesperson Silas Sehularo said the allegations are untrue.
He said the transfers are part of the administrative process that started last year.
“You may recall that the school has been experiencing declining performance,” he said.
Sehularo said part of the solution was for the Regional Education Office to redeploy some teachers to other schools.
He explained that the transfers were administrative action aimed at improving service delivery across the education system, which is informed by the professional monitoring and inspectorate report.
Sehularo also indicated that because of this declining performance, the Permanent Secretary to the President, Director DPSM and Permanent Secretary MoESD went to Good hope Senior School early this year to address the teachers and the school management on declining performance not Politics.
“Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education results credit pass percentage (A-C grades) had plummeted from 23.2% in 2013 to 17.53% in 2014 which placed the school in position 26 out of 32 schools as compared to position 19 in the previous year”, he said.
He added that it is a routine by Regional Offices to follow up and support all schools that show decline in their results and come up with interventions for improvement.
Sehularo maintained that teachers like any other Public Servants are aware that they have to be politically neutral for effective execution of their responsibilities and this is in accordance with the Public Service Act.
He warned that should cases of active involvement in politics be noticeable appropriate action will be taken, just like for any other civil servants.