Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Yet another scandal hits education ministry

Alleged corruption practices at the Ministry of Education and Skills Development are far from over.

In the latest corruption allegations, the Education minister is expected to suspend a good number of officers in the Department of Curriculum Development and Evaluation who are allegedly involved in the secret writing and publication of books.

Already, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime has recently camped at the department to investigate the allegations.

Information reaching The Telegraph suggests that the Minister of Education, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, is expected to suspend some officers in the department, following allegations that some officers are involved in the secret writing of text books and leak confidential information to certain publishers.

It is reported that some of the subjects specialists connive with publishers and link confidential information to the publishers, then write books to be used in the proposed subjects.

“I am aware of the matter but I am not in a position to provide you with full details because I have to conduct my own investigations first,” Venson Moitoi told the Telegraph on Monday. “Already the matter has been reported to the DCEC whom I have to meet and try to understand the circumstances surrounding the matter.”

Some publishers, who asked for anonymity, told the Telegraph that “the said department has lost focus of their core mandate because they are fully involved in the writing of text books”.

They explained that the Department of Curriculum Development and Evaluation is supposed to evaluate the syllabus and maintain the standard of the syllabus “but now the very people that are supposed to maintain the standard and evaluate the syllabus are the ones writing the books and work against their mandate”.

They asked the minister to stop the officers from writing books and concentrate on their core mandate.

One of the local publishers, Portia Tshwagang, of Medi Publishing, told the Telegraph that there are indeed some curriculum officers who are writers for certain publishers.

She said the officers should be stopped from writing or they should just quit and become writers.
She queried why, if the department has not lost their mandate and focus, a controversial book that sparked debate over sex education was not noticed before being published.

The Public Relations Officer of the DCEC, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said: “We have had issues with the said ministry in the past; we are currently unable to comment on the issue┬áyou have raised.”

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