Sunday, May 29, 2022

Opposition leaders say gov’t has no respect for teachers

Botswana opposition political party leaders are accusing the government of the ruling party of the neglect of teachers, saying that this has led to the chaos that currently surrounds the invigilation of examination in the country. Botswana National Front President, Duma Boko, says that the current chaos is just a small example of the many instances of neglect that teachers in this country suffer under the current government, which he says has little regard for teachers whilst expecting them to mould future leaders.

Boko said that teachers in this country have been treated worse than any other government employees as they are over worked and not paid for the extra hours that they work; are expected to sleep on floors of class rooms with students whilst on school trips whilst other employees sleep in hotels and lodges during such trips.

The current chaos surrounding the examinations, he says, could easily be solved by having both parties involved sitting down and seriously negotiating the legitimate issue raised by teachers.
”The government should lead efforts to settle this problem in order for the examinations to have credibility. If that does not happen, examinations’ results will not have legitimacy as well,” Boko warned.

Botswana Congress Party Publicity Secretary, Taolo Lucas, concurred with Boko that examinations will not have credibility if the current situation is allowed to continue.

Lucas said that all the concerned parties should work on the process of restoring credibility to the examination process without delay. This, he said, could be done by showing a little more respect for teachers and their Unions and engaging them in meaningful dialogue on their terms of payment for invigilation and marking.

Lucas further said that any corrective measure must involve teachers as they are the ones with necessary qualifications and skills.

“Those who have caused the chaos through poor judgment or negligence must be booked and appropriate sanctions applied for they are destroying the future of our children,” he stressed.

Themba Joina, the MELS president, also added his voice to the accusation, saying that the government’s action in allowing the situation to grow to the level where invigilation is being carried out by retired teachers and other general employees just shows the lack of seriousness on the part of government.

He said that this is very worrying as the government purports to have the interests of Batswana at heart.

“Is this the way to show that you love your people when you are failing to provide their children with qualified teachers to invigilate examinations?” he asked.

Joina, like the other politicians, says that the only way out of this situation is for the parties to have serious negotiations on the issue and not to engage retired teachers to do what is supposed to be done by teachers who are active on the job.

”Are the retired teachers going to be used to mark the examinations as well?” Joina asked?

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