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Teaching Service Consultative Council declared illegal

Publishing Date : 24 August, 2015

Author : FRANCINAH BAAITSE

Minister Dow’s attitude throwing MoESD in disarray - BOFEPUSU


There is likelihood that teachers may not participate in this year’s school examinations including invigilation and marking, the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has announced.


Approximately two months before the commencement of the 2015 school final examinations, the teachers and the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) have not yet reached any agreement in terms of examination work compensation and let alone started negotiations on the matter and the teachers are threatening to boycott the job.


During a press conference in Gaborone this week, the Federation’s Secretary General, Tobokani Rari and his Deputy, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa suggested that teachers may even hold on to marks for practical subject until they are satisfactorily compensated for it.


‘’In the past when teachers participated in the examination process, they were merely being patriotic but it is now time that BEC engages teachers and negotiate for appropriate rates. If they do not do so, there will be a tussle,” Motshegwa explained.


According to the union, the examination duty is the responsibility of the Botswana Examinations Council (BEC), an organisation which is not an employer of teachers. Teachers are employed by the Directorate of Public Service Management through the MoESD.


“Just as the responsibility of conducting elections lies with the Independent Electoral Commission, the responsibility of running school examinations lies wholly with BEC,” Motshegwa added.


However the MoESD has been paying Millions of Pula towards compensating Teachers for this kind of job every year and the Ministry is actually in debt as it still owes some of the teachers for the services they rendered during the last examinations.


Previously the Ministry had made an interim arrangement where it negotiated and agreed with Teacher’s unions on the compensation rate before examinations started. The interim arrangement was done through the teaching service consultative council. But the new Minister, Unity Dow, who is a trained lawyer, is said to have declared the interim arrangement illegal and would not continue with it.


“When Mma Moitoi was the MoESD Minister and Muzila was the Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry, the unions and the Ministry met annually to negotiate the compensation rate and an agreement was signed. But when the learned fellow arrived, she said the interim arrangement was illegal,” explained BOFEPUSU’s President, Johannes Tshukudu.


The Unions says the decision by Dow to kill the consultative council has thrown the teaching service into a crisis and the coming examinations would be an example of the dire consequences of such a decision.


 “The attitude of the current Minister of Education cannot help resolve problems in that Ministry. She cannot manage the Education problems without involving the teachers,” added BOFEPUSU’s deputy Secretary General, Motshegwa.


Meanwhile the federation had written a letter to the Ministry demanding answers as to what is going to happen in the coming school final examinations which starts in October, 2015.

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