The Botswana Examination Council (BEC) has refused to disclose the source of its money that will be used to pay teachers who were engaged in marking last year’s examinations in December.
This comes after BEC failed to pay the teachers due to financial difficulties that hit the organization in recent years.
Speaking to The Telegraph this week BEC spokesperson Fingile Makagalemele declined to divulge how much money they have secured and the source of the same money.
“This money runs into millions and I cannot disclose the source where we secured the funds from,” she said.
Makgalemele confirmed that the process of paying examiners started last Friday and is expected to take two weeks and that everything will go according to plan.
“Normally we issue letters to confirm the actual date when BEC will deposit money into the examiners’ bank accounts but this time┬áaround funds will be deposited┬ástraight into their bank accounts and they will receive their letters later. We have started paying examiners (teachers) who were engaged in marking the final examination of form three and five last December,” she said.
She explained that BEC was unable to secure funds that were allocated to pay the examiners soon after they completed marking the examination; BEC communicated the delay to the examiners.
“BEC cannot shy away from the blame for paying examiners┬ávery late and we really apologize for what happened therefore I can assure them that will never happen again,” said Makgalemele. She stated that the main reason why they failed to pay examiners well in time was because of budget constraints and the funds arrived very late from the source. Makgalemele added that “To my understating I do not think that our delay will somehow not in a way affect our cordial relationship that both parties have been enjoying since way-back.”
BOSETU secretary general Tabokani Rari said the union is not aware of the issue and has expressed disappointment at the organisation saying BEC does not take teachers seriously.
“This is uncalled for and it is high time that BEC is called to order,” he said.
He stated that it is unwarranted that BEC can take such a long time to pay markers adding that this is not the first time that BEC delayed payments of teachers.
He stated that markers work from 0630hrs in the morning till 1030 in the evening “and these are slavery hours even internationally such long hours are not acceptable.”
Some examiners who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being victimized told this publicaton that “we are really disappointed with BEC and what it has done to us.”
They argued that it is totally unacceptable for such a big organization to take a long time to secure “our funds instead they could have paid us probably in February.”
“This somehow shows cracks in BEC and we smell a rat that even this year we are likely to face the same problem again,” they said.
They warned BEC that if it cannot put its house in-order that will result in the reduction of teachers participating in marking and that can cause chaos in the releasing of results.