Private tutors in and around Gaborone have taken advantage of the current civil servants strike to make money from parents who send their children to them for classes.
Several parents in Gaborone have acknowledged that they are going the extra mile to see to it that their children, some of them in standard seven, form three and five, are privately tutored to prepare them for the coming examinations.
“I had no choice but to pay extra money to send my son to private tutors as I fear that he might end up failing because the strike looks like it will continue forever, “ said a Gaborone single mother, who only revealed her name as Sarah.
She said several of her friends are doing the same, and paying for it steeply. “Imagine paying school fees for your child to go to school, then for transport to and from school, then for a private tutor and on top of that transport to and from the place the tutor is operating. This is really costly,” she said.
Another woman, who revealed her name as Dikeledi, said she had also been forced to send her form three daughter to private tutors. She expressed concern that examinations are close while her daughter’s teachers are on strike, with the few who report to school not even teaching at all the whole day.
“When my daughter comes from school, I make sure that I see the material she has done on that particular day. She has done nothing at school since the strike started, which is why I ended up sending her to private tutors. This has cost us a family as we are now diverting funds for that. My daughter is an above-average student and used to perform well before the strike. I wish the strike could end tomorrow so that I would not have to pay for private tutors,” she lamented.
Asked to comment on the matter, Ministry of Education and Skills Development Principal Public Relations Officer, Nomsah Zuze, said there was nothing they can do on the issue as it is a private arrangement made by parents.
Recently, the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi ordered schools to be closed after students rioted over the lack of teachers. Temporary teachers have since been recruited and schools reopened, but reports about the inadequate number of teachers persist.