Despite what the Education Act recommends, Lobatse MP, Nehemiah Modubule, has neither been attending board meetings of Crescent School in his town nor sending an officer from his constituency office to do so on his behalf.
Queried on the matter the MP retorted: “Why should I?”
For one, a regulation in the said piece of legislation provides that the local MP or his nominee should be a member of the school board. For another, the board chairperson, Shabir Ismael, says that the MP’s participation would present him with an opportunity to better appreciate education-related issues that obtain in the town. One he cites is that Batswana parents’ prefer that their children be taught by expatriate teachers than by locals.
For as long as he has been board chairperson (which is some six months now), Ismael says that a representative from the MP’s office attended only one meeting. The meetings are held every six weeks “or when necessary.”
The board has officially not sought explanation from the MP’s office but Ismael says that is something it plans to do at its next meeting.
The answers that the board will seek may be those Modubule gave to Sunday Standard on Friday.
While Ismael says that the MP’s office has been notified of every meeting and that minutes of each are routinely dispatched to it, Modubule says that “I ought to know of the meetings in time” and that he has seen minutes of only one meeting.
Attending those meetings would itself be a problem for his office. He says that as MP, he is an ex-officio member of many other boards and also that he has important National Assembly duties to perform. He adds that likewise, the hands of his administrative secretary in the constituency office are too full for him to attend the Crescent School board meetings.
From what Modubule says there would have been a time in the past when he debated the issue of his board membership with the school.
“I refused to be a full-time board member of Crescent because I would have been severely compromised. If the board did something wrong, I would have been involved as an MP when I also belong to an oversight body. It would be wrong to do that,” he says.
Having won the 1999 and subsequent elections, Modubule has been Lobatse MP for 13 years now. He stood as an independent candidate in 2009 and subsequently joined the Botswana Movement for Democracy a year later when the party came into being.
Established in 1969, Crescent is the first – and presently, only elite private school in Lobatse that offers both primary and secondary education.