The Paramount Chief of Barolong and Vice Chairperson of Ntlo ya Dikgosi, Chief Lotlaamoreng II, has accused government of bringing the education system into shambles by failing to take heed of the grievances of teachers.
Giving a keynote address during the Botswana Secondary Education Teachers Union (BOSETU) Congress in Francistown on Friday, he said that the reason why the education system in Botswana is crumbling is because government is failing to take the welfare of teachers seriously.
“The government continues to ignore the grievances of teachers and the situation is of high concern as it is compromising the quality of education in the country. For teachers to effectively deliver services, there is need for their voices to be taken seriously. The government cannot solve all of their problems at one time but at least it should engage them in a proper dialogue,” he said.
Chief Lotlaamoreng stated that failure on the part of government to engage in proper dialogue with the teachers has resulted in low morale of teachers.
“Last year we witnessed a debilitating public service strike that nearly brought this country to its knees. Should government have engaged with the public servants through a proper dialogue, the mass strike could have been avoided,” he added.
He added that to his amazement, after the public servants strike last year, the government chose to punish some of the public employees by sacking them, a decision which he labeled as cruel.
“Instead of the government conducting a proper dialogue with the public servants last year, it chose to punish the employees by sacking some of them for participating in the strike and I really find the decision unreasonable. I strongly feel that the public servants strike last year was lawful, so why should government punish the public servants for exercising their rights?” he asked.
Lotlaamoreng said that it is high time that government realizes the importance of the teaching profession and its contribution to the country. He said that education is an important tool in the development of any country.
“The employer needs to take into cognizance the fact that for the teachers to be able to perform their duties efficiently; they have to be recognized,” he said.