Sunday, May 19, 2024

The education fiasco is just one sign of the rot we live in!

The statistics are vast, stark and glaring.

The extent of failure means that a whole generation has been condemned to a futureless existence.

And for many years to come the entire nation will not just pay the price but also share in the consequences.

What is happening with our education sector is a clear-cut case of the blind leading the blind.
A whole generation of young Batswana has been condemned to a future of hopelessness.

In the medium to long terms, the magnitude of today’s failure will no doubt be disastrous.

There is no better way to demonstrate just how far we have gone astray as a nation.

Owing to a terribly low pass rate, the nation’s loss of directional compass has got many worried. But for how much longer?

For many young people, giving meaning to their lives had long started to be difficult even with what good education they used to have.

And now with effectively no education to talk of, it will get worse.

As a nation, not only have we lost grip, we also have run aground, effectively off the rails.
We gave all the power to the princes, and they have let us down.

For us as a nation it’s time to pick the tab.

Of all the sectors in the public service, education was always going to be most problematic under the current leadership.

Very few members of today’s cabinet, least of all the chairman of the cabinet can lay any claim to understanding even the most elementary requirements of the sector.

As is the case with a good number of his ministers the president’s specialties are security, defence and intelligence. There is a context to it.

President Ian Khama owes all his life credentials to his inherited chieftainship lineage.
He is a true blue blood. That is what he is. That is all he knows. And outside of those, it is infinitely difficult to make sense of just what else he stands for.

And with no attempts made by him to make education the base material of his presidency, even harder becomes trying to make sense of just what President Ian Khama hopes to leave behind as his legacy.
It was not always like that.

Former President Sir Ketumile Masire understood the incontrovertible character of education’s ability to transform individuals.

From first hand personal experience, Masire knew just how education could uplift an individual from poverty. A beneficiary of education himself, he worked hard, first as a teacher and later as a politician to make sure all benefited from the same education that had served himself so well.

Better than all that served with him, he internalized the simple but powerful fact that there’re was no alternative to education, that it was the most precious gift a parent, nigh, a government could give to young people.

And he moved mountains to nurture a culture of learning.

So did his successor Festus Mogae.

Coming to think of it, it was not by accident that the two treasured education so highly and allocated it a lion’s share of the public finances.

It was on account of education the two had themselves acquired during their student days that they became what they are today ÔÇô Africa’s leading statesmen.

Yet today our government seems to be going in the opposite direction.

Education, like the students and teachers, are viewed as a nuisance and distraction to the regime’s agenda.

It does not seem like our today’s leaders fully appreciate the efficacy of giving our young people the same education that bequeathed this nation with so many great leaders in the past.
Clearly, education is not a priority of the current government.

The biggest problem in our country today is we have a president who wants to be everywhere every time.

His obsession to micromanage the public service has not only demoralized the service but has also taken away the creative edge among officers that have for years been at the centre of the country’s public service machine.

We have put our future in the hands of a wrong crowd and we are paying a price.
This whole week there was a lot of confusion and handwringing.

The national examination school results have put us all into a mourning mode.
But what next?

Because there is no national plan, no blueprint to talk of, before the end of next week it will be business as usual.

Today we may cry for all we want because these are the worst education results in living memory.
When looked at in context, these results are in every manner of it a microcosm of the rot we live in today.

In the midst of the ensuing national crescendo is the deafening powerlessness of citizens against their government that speaks loudest.

And unless something is done about it, we may as well brace ourselves for more damning results next year.


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