Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) has appealed to government to improve temporary teachers’ turnaround time payment.
This follows reports that some teachers across the country have gone for three months without pay.
BTU President Gotlhamang Oitsile told this publication that it is a cause for concern to realize that some temporary teachers remain unpaid adding that this could affect teaching and learning.
“As far as I am concerned, government has previously indicated that they will improve temporary teacher welfare as evidenced by the pronouncement that more temporary teachers will be absorbed into the system to be permanent,” he said.
“We intend to investigate to understand how many teachers have so far not been paid so that we engage the relevant stakeholders at regional level to also understand what causes this and when they will be paid,” he said.
Oitsile further highlighted that failure to pay teachers on time has proven to affect learning adding that government should ensure that temporary teachers are treated equally with their permanent teachers.
“We understand that government has indicated that regions are the ones responsible for paying teachers but it is shocking how regions are treating the matter,”
“It is about time that we sit down with all stakeholders to map a way forward because we cannot have this situation coming up every now and then because I understand that this is not the first time it is happening,” said Oitsile.
He also advised temporary teachers to always report such similar cases in order to be addressed.
“We have an open door policy to help temporary teachers but we need them to come on board to raise these issues without fear,”
“I want to believe that once we have engaged regional directors we will then know when teachers will always be paid because these people also have responsibilities, some of them do not have accommodation,” added Oitsile.
Failure to pay temporary teachers by government comes at a time when government recently announced that it will absorb 3 509 temporary teachers as full time teachers and commended priority being extended to Batswana in hiring teachers.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Peggy Serame said some of the funds allocated to the Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) would help to hire more teachers.
Government announced in 2020 that a sizeable number of temporary teachers’ contracts would not be renewed.
Efforts to speak to authorities at the Ministry were futile as they were said to be in a meeting.