Saturday, August 13, 2022

MoE stranded as teachers refuse to work overtime

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development says it has no Plan B on how to ensure that students finish the syllabus before sitting for their final examinations scheduled to start within a month.

Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU) says if the students seat for the exams before they finish their syllabus, the examinations will not be credible.

“We are fully aware that most of the teachers have declined working overtime,” said Nomsa Zuze, the Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Education. “We did not think of Plan B were the teachers to refuse to work overtime but, unfortunately, things are not going according to our plan.”

Zuze said that, as the ministry, they cannot force teachers to work overtime “because overtime is voluntary therefore there is nothing we can do if they refuse”.

She said it is very unfortunate that students lost two months during the public servants industrial strike and the ministry wanted to compensate the lost time by introducing overtime to cover the syllabus.

“I appeal to teachers to assist students as much as they can,” she said.

The Secretary General of BOSETU, Tobokani Rari, said, “We are aware that teachers refuse to work for overtime and there is nothing that we can do because overtime is voluntary.”

He said although he cannot tell how much of the syllabus the teachers had covered “it is very possible that most of the subjects will not be covered before the students can write their final examinations”.

He said BOSETU is willing to seat down with the ministry and rescue the situation if the ministry negotiates in good faith.

Rari said the Botswana Examination Council should first extend the examinations with another month to allow teachers to finish the syllabus.

He said instead of 22 working days that is stipulated by the new Public Service Act, teachers should work for 26 days and that will allow teachers to cover the unfinished business.

Rari said 22 working days and overtime cannot resolve this problem.

Nomsa Zuze

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