Sunday, September 20, 2020

Shortage of accommodation causing problems for teachers

A distraught teacher of Gaborone Senior Secondary School (GSS) has reportedly been left stranded and destitute after an officer from the Department of Secondary School Education in the South Central region of the country allegedly bulldozed her from a flat originally allocated to her by the school’s housing committee.

An effort on her part to report the matter to the office of the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education (MoE) requesting urgent remedial action was rendered worthless, when she was turned down and was informed that her case would be overlooked as she didn’t follow the proper channels of communication.
“As a matter of procedure and principle what you allege against another officer cannot be taken to be true until verified or otherwise by an investigation.”

Information received by the Sunday Standard proves that the school’s housing committee had, on the 8th of January 2009, allocated one Mpho Modiko, the complainant, a flat at Kerekeng Flats.

The letter stated that Modiko was expected to have occupied the house by the 2nd of February 2009.

In the letter, the committee had also revealed that they were working with their back against the wall to offer her and her colleagues accommodation, considering the fact that there were only seventy three houses available for a record 168 teachers. 

  Modiko claims that from March 2009, she had made numerous efforts to secure occupancy at the flat allocated to her, but this could not be as she found gear installed at the door to prevent her from getting access into the house.  

To her knowledge, the house was initially unoccupied when she was issued with the offer letter; she further acknowledges that she was then reliably informed that a certain Senwedi from the Department of Secondary Education in the South Central region allegedly took occupancy before her.

┬á “Mr Senwedi bulldozed me by breaking one of the padlocks I had used to lock the two steel doors. To my surprise, he also broke the garage door to which I had and still have the keys to; he got access and put up his curtains,” said Modiko.

Modiko revealed that she was later informed that he (Senwedi) was given two months notice to vacate, according to the notice he was allegedly given by the Chief Education Officer, a representative of the PS in the south region, Senwedi should have moved out of the flat allocated to her by June 30th  2009.

 In response to her plea, the CEO had accused Modiko of making very serious allegations against one of their officers.

He said that she did not follow procedure when she went and reported the case to the PS when she should have first reported to the Principal Education Officer 1 (secondary) who is the responsible officer in the region.  
“There is no evidence of when it was first reported to the school head of GSS, you have also not reported the matter to the CEO, who happens to be the officer representing the PS in the region,” read the letter.

The CEO had thus asked Modiko to explain why she did not observe the proper channel of communication.

According to the CEO, the South Central region supervises schools in their region, and cases such as those of Modiko have to be reported to the Region and not the PS’s office.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.