The Minister of Education, Jacob Nkate, says by next year primary school teachers will be specializing in specific subjects so as to improve the standard of education in the country.
Nkate told the Sunday Standard that the ministry has approved a policy in which primary teachers will now be specializing in their subjects starting at the beginning of next year.
He said about 12 primary schools throughout the country have already been selected this year to pilot the project.
Nkate said pupils were bored by one teacher and that contributed to poor results by the students.
“The report that I have already received is that the project is doing well, though, as you know, things can not just run smoothly,” said minister Nkate.
He said specialization will be introduced for teachers from Standard Three to Standard Seven, adding that the approval came after numerous researches that proved that specialization can improve the results of students and can improve the quality of teaching.
“Although they will be some hiccups, teachers will ensure that the project succeeds,” he said, adding that more teachers will be trained and hired because the exercise will be more demanding in terms of manpower.
Commenting on the matter, the Secretary General of the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Keorapetse Kgasa, said that, as a union, they have been advocating for specialization and that the project had already started at other schools.
“It has never been right for a teacher to teach seven subjects at once; his or her productivity had to be affected one way or the other,” said Kgasa. “Teachers don’t sabotage the project.” said Kgasa, adding that teachers will be now able to prepare best for the subjects that they teach.
“I assure you that in a few years to come, there will be tight competition in Standard Seven results because schools that were regarded as not doing well will see their results improve.” Kgasa added that they are optimistic that specialization will improve the quality of education in the country.
However, education expect, Professor Richard Tabulawa, of the University of Botswana, said he is skeptical about the exercise.
“There are more questions than answers over this exercise,” he said.