The Ministry of Education and teachers are embroiled in yet another controversy over scarce skills allowance, this time involving Physics teachers.
The imbroglio follows a recent savingram that was issued by the acting director of Teaching Service Management to all schools and colleges concerning scarce skills allowance for teachers and lectures.
The teachers cried foul that government reneged on an earlier agreement that Physics teachers would also be eligible for scarce skills allowance, especially as there is a shortage of qualified physics teachers and lecturers.
The savingram, dated October 28, (REF: TSM 1/14/391 (8) AD MP) posits that government has taken a decision to pay commerce, accounting, chemistry, computer studies and special education teachers and lecturers scarce skills allowance.
It also requests all schools to provide a list of all teachers and lectures qualifying for the scarce skills allowance. However, heads of departments, deputy heads, school heads and principals are excluded as they no longer teach the subjects.
Botswana Secondary Teacher’s Union (BOSETU) president, Shandukani Tlhabano, told The Telegraph on Monday that TSM had failed to give them a valid reason why physics teachers are not eligible for scarce skills allowance, save to say that consultations had been made with DPSM.
“The savingram does not reflect what happens in our schools. Physics teachers are not only scarce, they are also poached by other stakeholders for employment at their respective organizations,” he said.
Tlhabano accused the Ministry of Education of failing to coordinate its internal matters. Efforts to reach the DPSM proved futile at the time of going to print.