The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has finally fired four male teachers who were stationed at Shakawe Senior Secondary School.
The said teachers were accused of engaging in love affairs with female students about two years ago.
The Botswana Federation of Secondary School Teachers (BOFESETE) is however appealing the verdict saying the disciplinary hearing was marred with irregularities. ┬á┬á
In his response to The Telegraph this week the Ministry of Education spokesperson Silas Sehularo confirmed that about four teachers that were faced with allegations of love relationships with female students at Shakawe Senior Secondary School sometime ago have been dismissed from the teaching fraternity.
Sehularo added that initially, six male teachers were implicated and so far four have been dismissed from work as stated. He said one was cleared after the investigations. The other one still has their case pending as the ministry wants to verify some facts.
“I am not quite sure when such facts will be verified but hopefully the ministry will act promptly”, said Sehularo.
He acknowledged that reports received by the ministry reflect that teacher-student love affairs exist in some of the secondary schools across the country. The government is strongly against such acts and will go all the way to curb such problems by taking the necessary steps.
When contacted for comment the Secretary General of BOFESETE Tobokane Rari said they are aware that the ministry has dismissed about four teachers in Shakawe and the affected teachers have already been served with letters of dismissal.
Concerning the other two, Rari indicated that they have been reinstated and are back at work. He is not aware of any pending issues.
He explained that BOFESETE is disappointed about the manner in which this matter was handled and the union has already filed an appeal as there were a number irregularities relating to the proceedings of the disciplinary hearing.
He pointed out that the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing should be someone who is neutral but in this particular case there was nothing like impartiality in the case of the presiding officer.
He added that what hurts the most is that some of the students, reported to be the affected ones, have refuted the allegations levelled against the teachers but government still went ahead and dismissed them.
“The public should be aware that BOFESETE does not in any way condone such acts but the union will not accept unjust procedures,” said Rari.
Almost two years ago the Ministry of Education instituted an inquiry after Shakawe Senior Secondary School was rocked by allegations of sexual relations between teachers and students. These acts are alleged to have contributed towards the poor performance of the school in BGCSE results in 2013.