Friday, December 3, 2021

Fate of Western Primary School still not decided

The ancient Western Primary School of Serowe still stands as a white elephant while plans to destroy it after it was said to be in a commercial site where there should be a shopping centre are still pending.

It is still not clear to the villagers and the Central District Council (CDC) when the school is going to be demolished or if it should be left to stay.

Ten years ago the government took a decision to take down the historical school, which has raised many prolific graduates in this country. Amid the planning to bring down Western Primary, many controversies arose.

Some villagers were against its destruction while others were supporting the government decision to take down the school.

The decision by the government was that the school sits on space reserved for the extension of Old Serowe Mall. The other decision was that the place has many cars passing thus posing a threat to the safety of school children.

Some villagers, who had their student schooling at Western Primary, were not happy with this decision of the school being removed. They said their children will be transferred to far away schools.

Some said if Western Primary School is to be destroyed then Central Primary should also follow suite, as it is also on a commercial site. They said Central Primary is also along the main road and cars passing along can also pose a threat to children.

The issue of the destruction of Western Primary came at the time of former MP for the area, Tebelelo Seretse. The situation appeared to be handy to handle for the areas MPs and councillors. Seretse at that time was accused of not consulting with parents and villagers. However she went to local government and lands to appeal for the closure of the school but her application was declined.
After years of misunderstanding between the parties involved and government’s delayed decisions on the school, Western Primary still stands and its dilapidated classrooms are said to harbour criminals and illegal immigrants.

Mogomotsi Mangwene, Administrator at the Central District Council (CDC) said they are still in the dark about the future of the school. He said the CDC is still in consulting as to what to with the school. He pointed out that the government has plans for Western Primary. He, however, said he was still unsure of the fate of the school.

“At this time, there are many processes involved in the Western Primary issue. I am not sure whether it will be destroyed because there is also a shortage of schools. The government has decided to maintain few schools, like Riverside Primary and St Gabriel’s Primary, so the Western Primary issue, maybe, is going to come after these renovations are done. I believe maybe they will look at the matter during the financial year,” said Mangwene.

The school has a rich history as it was the first teacher training institution in Botswana before it became a primary school. It raised icons like the late national anthem composer, Kgalemang Motsete, former Minister of Education Dr Gaotiswe Chiepe, journalist Sakaiyo Jane, current Minister of Education, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, and weatherman Radithupa Radithupa.

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