Saturday, January 22, 2022

FCE students in bitter row with Principal over allowances

Francistown College of education students who should have left for teaching practice two weeks ago are stranded in Francistown because they have not been given their living allowances.

Unhappy students complained to The Telegraph that the College Principal, Sirwonder Masemola, is forcing them to go for their teaching practices even though they do not have allowances to cover transportation, accommodation and food.

“He never listens to students, the issue of allowances has been forwarded to him a longtime back and all he says is that we should talk to the director at TSM (Teaching Service Management) but he just wants us to continue the teaching practice under such conditions.”

An SRC member said that they were given a few hours yesterday to vacate the school premises and ever since last week on Sunday, they were cut off from the school feeding programme.

It is alleged that whenever the Principal holds meetings at the institution, he does not allow any comments and he is said to be an autocrat who is never questioned.
The leader of the Student Representative Committee is also said to be on suspension after the Principal blamed him for holding meetings he branded as illegal.

Although the situation only affects second year students, SRC members pointed out that they have been stuck because they do not know where to go as they do not have any money to pay for rent or buy food and other necessities.

The sponsorship for the teaching practice is under TSM but the students continue to point a finger at the Principal who is alleged to be arrogant and uncooperative. The students further informed The Telegraph that they are at the institution illegally.

“Whoever differs with him is suspended and as we are speaking to you we fear to be the next victims after the SRC President,” one student, who also refused to be identified, said.
However reached for comment, Masemola told this paper that all is well with the institution and indicated that he is not the one responsible for allowances, saying that there are rightful people who should take such grievances.

Masemola further declined to comment on all the allegations made by the students, indicating that he only releases information under certain procedures, which he did not disclose.
A source in the Ministry of Education under TSM revealed that the problem of allowances is due to the fact that the system is down, and when it is down nothing much can be done.  

The Principal Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Education, Nomsa Zuze, told The Telegraph in a telephone interview that she was aware of the problem at the Institution but was not in a position to comment, indicating that that the Regional Director in Francistown has much knowledge of such problems as she receives first hand information.

“As you know that I am very far, the regional directors across the country can have better knowledge of such issues than me,” she said.

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