Former trade unionist and President of Botswana Land boards and Local Government Workers Union (BLLAWU), and now Botswana Congress Party parliamentary candidate for Maun East, Goretetse Kekgonegile, says the time has come for Botswana Government to up their game in the accomplishment of the education system, which he says is way below standard.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Kekgonegile said Maun East constituency has been the hardest hit in terms of education, as there is also the issue of unfair distribution of the already minute resources amongst schools around here.
He said there is urgent need for government to consider building primary schools at least, at the villages of Khwai, (located between the Moremi and Chobe National Parks), Sexaxa near Maun, as well as Matshwane phase II in Maun because currently students from these areas have to travel long distances to access the nearest schools.
Kekgonegile said upon finally reaching the school such children are usually too fatigued and cannot concentrate in class. He suggested also that three more junior secondary schools should be built in Shorobe, Disana and Gxhabara, all of which are in Maun East.
“The education system is very cruel to an average Motswana, as well as a common man on the streets. We have come to realize also that the delay in making such provision is not an issue of minute budget, but that of failed policies. Maun secondary for example caters for the three constituencies of Maun East and West as well as Ngamiland. Sedie junior school students have now been admitted in Ghanzi, and to us this is quite a big blow as they are in a very sensitive stage of teenage hood, which therefore makes them vulnerable to engaging in illicit affairs between themselves and teachers so that at the end of the day there will be someone providing for their livelihood,” added the aspiring MP.
“First and foremost, as the BCP we are very much disturbed by the current scenario at some schools whereby pupils as young as seven years are separated from their parents. This is the case in Khwai, where all children are admitted in Kareng, more than 300 kilometers from their parents. Honestly how are these young children expected to adapt in such circumstances, and with their parents away? As BCP we find this to be quite discriminatory as we feel there is no harm in making the provision of a school there, considering the issue of the difference in distance,” he said.
Quizzed on their involvement on the recent student chaos at Maun Secondary School, he said they have played their part by way of holding talks with management behind the scenes, and that their intention is to continue making consultations whenever the need arises.
He however stated that they are convinced that the current diabolic acts and hooliganism at the school are a result of automatic promotion of students who did not do well in their exams, and yet were allowed to proceed to upper classes.
He also condemned the current developments by the Ministry of Education, whereby temporary teachers are engaged to take over classes of those who have gone to further their education, saying the government is throwing money at problems instead of solving such problems, because these temporary teachers are also rotated in between schools, which means students cannot easily catch up.