Growing up as a rural boy commuting between Gaborone and Lobatse, Kitso ‘Tswidi’ Mokaila used to disembark from either a bus or train at Ramatlabama and Rakhuna village, quite far from his family cattle post at Matasalalo.
He is now a Member of Parliament, and also holds a big ministerial post.
“Some of you may think it is quite a long distance. But I used to disembark at Ramatlabama or Rakhuna village. That was when I was called Tswidi,” said the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, sparking laughter from the adult- pupil audience attending a ceremony at Lotlamoreng I Junior Secondary School.
“Some of you know me well by the name,” Mokaila added.
“This is just to show you that you can prosper against all odds. You should not undermine your abilities just because you come from a rural area.”
He urged the students to take education seriously, for this requires perseverance and determination.
Majwe Joint Venture Company last Friday officially donated a staff office block to the school, which is expected to enhance the dwindling education system in public schools in Botswana.
A partnership between Leighton Botswana, Basil Read Botswana and Bothakga Burrow, Majwe unveiled the mobile cabin offices at the school in Goodhope.
The project was also co-sponsored by the company’s sub-contractors ÔÇô Danoher Contracting and Otraco Botswana.
Contracted to undertake a multi-million Pula Cut 8 project, Majwe Mining Joint Venture moves waste at Jwaneng mine, and this is expected to last until 2016 after a five-year-agreement with Debswana Diamond Company.
A partnership between the government of Botswana and Debeers Diamond Company, Debswana is one of the world’s biggest diamond producers by value.
The teachers’ staff offices included six block offices, two toilets, a kitchen and teachers common room.
Mokaila encouraged the pupils to stay away from early relationships as they could destroy their future.
Speaking after Mokaila, Assistant Minister of Education Patrick Masimolole said does not believe in Valentine’s Day, blaming the pupils worsening drop out from school to over indulgence.
“Although I could not name the school…. visiting the school lately on official duty I was shocked to learn over 30 students have been out of school because of pregnancy,” he said.
“This week I learnt from the same school seven more have dropped.”
Celebrated every year on February 14, Valentine Day is universally the day of love.
Red colour during the Day is a common phenomenon as lovers exchange pleasantries and presents.
“You are not involved in Valentine’s Day. Your main priority is to concentrate on your studies,” Masimolole warned.
The ministry of education is reeling from the record low Junior Secondary School results, attributed to poor teacher’s conditions of service and over indulgence of students in drugs, alcohol and early love relationships.
For the past consecutive years, Lotlaamoreng I Junior Secondary School has been raising high the flag of the school, passing with flying colours to obtain first position regionally.
But this year’s results show the school has moved one step down.
Masimolole urged the school to compete nationally.
“When I look at the school performance nationally I turn many pages before I could lay my eyes at your performance. You number over 100 and something,” he said.