Maun Secondary School head Mange Mafoko has attributed the many challenges that the school faced in the previous year to the school’s dismal performance. Addressing students, parents and a host of invited guests at a prize giving ceremony here on Friday, Mafoko said besides the fact that their students were disturbed by congestion after having accommodated the student and teacher community from Shakawe Senior Secondary School last year, the school was also faced with mysterious fire incidents, which led its immediate temporary closure, to allow police investigations to be carried out. Some of the classes had to be conducted from the boy’s hostels, which were themselves not conducive to teaching.
As a result, he said both teaching and learning time were lost, leading to management coming to a conclusion that teaching time be extended by a week so as to try cover the syllabus. To date, all the eight classrooms and office which were ravaged by the fire have still not been put up, and students are been taught from air conditioned caravans.
The other contributing factor, he said, was student indiscipline, which is still rife at the school as students, more especially boys, indulge in excessive substance and alcohol abuse.
“I really think we have so far excelled in some of the subjects even though we could not make it to the top, even under the circumstances we found ourselves in. Our students were being taught from a very hostile environment which we could not control or change. Of late also, we have seen some of our students being engaged in undesirable behavior which we also find very difficult to comprehend. We are a school which believes in transparency, and so we would very much like our students to come forward and raise whatever issues they may have because otherwise we can’t afford to be held hostage by a group of hostile students”, he stated.
Meanwhile General Manager (customer service) at the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) Mpule Ditirwa urged parents to always make it a point that they avail themselves whenever needed by the school so that student behavior may be discussed and solutions made by both parties. She also expressed worry about the low turnout of parents at the event, adding that it goes to show they are not committed in their children’s education.
“I personally feel this is bad practice. Teachers need your support to help mould your children, and now if you leave all the work to them, you burden them with extra responsibilities, which is very unfair to them as they also have to keep up with lost time. Remember a classroom teacher has a child for a quarter, a semester or a year. They are a brief light in each child’s life. And so for the journey to continue, and for these kids to use education as an ingredient for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, they need partnership of their parents and teachers in their education”, she said.
Ditirwa also said time has now come for parents to introspect and see if their role in the education of their children is enough, adding teachers should also be at the forefront in fostering partnerships with parents, as well as keeping parents well informed about the progress of their children from time to time.
She said recent behavior by students at all other schools countrywide also need to be discouraged, failure at which the country will never see future leaders.