Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Government in bid to empower teachers

Speaking at the 14th Botswana Teachers’ Day Celebrations in Lobatse, the Assistant Minister of Education, Patrick Masimolole, said the Ministry resolved to empower teachers with the required training skills at all levels of education so that they can continue to deliver quality teaching.┬á

He said this change has primarily been necessitated by the fact that teaching methods and tools used in schools are becoming complex year by year and, as such, the teaching profession must constantly renew itself by addressing teacher development.

He expressed the government’s gratitude towards companies and organizations that adopted more than 40 schools after taking part in the Adopt-a-School initiative, which was launched in 2011 as a way of supporting teachers in delivering teaching and learning.

Masimolole said that the other initiative by government aimed at supporting teaching and learning is the National Parents Teachers Associations, which was launched together with the Education Mentors initiative in April 2012. It is a partnership aimed at ensuring that our schools’ academic results of future generations are better achieved.

“I want to take this time to share with you that at the Ministry and all key stakeholders are given a platform to contribute to the quality of education in this country. Government will ensure that the right school managers are appointed to head different school to achieve positive results,” said Masimolole.

“Student achievement in a school almost never exceeds the quality of its leadership and management. Improvements in performance almost never occur in the absence of school leadership. We, therefore, have in the Ministry started rewarding and recognising high performing schools.”

All of us have to contribute to building partnerships in schools and between schools and there is need for all of us to work together to provide opportunities for young people of this country,” said Masimolole.

He added that we all know that a school is a multi faceted community. “Nonetheless, the quality of teaching and the quality of leadership will make a significant difference and school managers need to work hard in ensuring consistency in teaching and learning.”

Masimolole said that the Government continues to devote significant resources to provide Batswana with education and training opportunities. He said that despite this effort, there is a worrisome trend regarding the decline in the school-results over the past five years.

“Today we seek innovative thinking and action not as an option but as a necessity,’ he said.

BOSETU president, Shandukani Hlabano, responded in his statement at the same gathering and said that even though the Public Service Bargaining Council has been set up, it does not appear that the actual collective bargaining will start soon.

Hlabano said they expect negotiations with the employer to go on outside the Council until such time that it is ready to execute its full mandate.

He added that although the budget speech alluded to the fact that all Ministries would have to reduce their wage bill by 5 percent, they are, however, not aware of any intentions to reduce the teaching force.

He said should the need arise to downsize the teaching service, government will send the necessary warning signals and teachers should remain alert of such development.

He pointed out that the Early Exit Policy offers an attractive package but warned that teachers should not start applying because they are not yet the target.

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