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I wish President Khama could have been Teacher - Oops President Masisi was Teacher!!

Publishing Date : 11 June, 2019

Author : OMPATILE MODISE

In one African country, when the union Jack was brought down for their country’s flag the jubilation was awesome. Inherent in the celebratory mood was the hope that the change of government to that of their peoples would inevitably translate into better conditions of life, and do away with the ills of colonial oppression and dictatorship.


In 2011 I wrote wishfully that if President could have been teacher perhaps …he could have dealt with the appalling conditions of service …. Now that His Excellency President Masisi was a teacher, together with his Vice President, a hawk’s eye overview on the conditions of service might do…

Hours of Work

The debate on hours of work still rages on... in fact the quality of education takes a severe knock as teachers in protest over non resolution of the same have abandoned the extra load –particularly all salient support activities that include remedial teaching ,academic and non academic enrichment clubs, pastoral duties, sports and marking of assignments .This is the main reason our results take a continuous nose dive …! Non payment of overtime has generally made schools unproductive….And His Excellency is quite aware of the peculiar nature of the hours of work of Teachers … and what’s need to obtain.

Leave

Even after the implementation of the Public service act of 2008, leave for Teachers remain a thorny issue. The one size fits all approach for implementation In the public service remains a challenge …in fact this become a campaign message by various politicians but no resolution of this matter is ever made…application for leave is quite tedious and inconsistent …quite frustrating for many…!

Acting Appointments/Temporary Teachers

Intrinsically interwoven...These  two are...Teachers are made to act for positions of responsibility for over six months …And the Authorities sit comfortably with renewal of the appointments on a termly basis …to avoid a continuous streak… Temporary qualified teachers face the same fate, for periods as long as two years to over ten years … This is an unfair labour practice and it has a home...At the Ministry of Basic Education!

Accommodation /Travel woes

The president would know that accommodation is very serious challenge, sharing of houses, often with large families is the order of the day. Others commute for long distances for over 80- 100 kilometres per day. You would agree with me that fuel is quite expensive especially after the National Petroleum fund saga…And we have lost quite a number of teachers on the roads as a result…!


At some point I tried to join the BDF …just can’t recall the year...I thought of housing allowance, free gas,electricityand water …I also thought of the transport of my children to and from school in that military green Bus… I would have been so lucky…Of late they dance like Kangaroos!!!

Student –Teacher Ratio

His Excellency would know that our classes are bursting at seams with a class of at least  40 – 45 students …On average a  teacher would have to do 5 such classes… In these circumstances it is very difficult to give individual students attention. As country we have an oversupply of teachers who are roaming the streets and those temporarily employed who could be used to reduce the ratio and allow for quality engagement in our classrooms.

Non progression of teachers

Over 75 percent of teachers at C1 scale…congested there with minimal chance of progression …Frustrated...yes we are ….it’s years and years stuck …

BEC saga

It’s been years that BEC has had an unhealthy relationship with teachers, Teacher Unions and examiners contracted to BEC. Over years national examinations are marked under unconducive environment, protests, and strikes as the core contractual issues are not addressed.
This is so bad for national examinations. Of late teachers have found themselves in BURS bad books due to contractual irregularities…!!!

Transfers

Your Excellency…The Ministry of Basic Education have out rightly refused to heed your call…As you kindly requested them assist spouses to join their families …We have tried to no avail … Crack the whip Your Excellency…

PEMANDU

We hope this consultancy comes in handy…it has whipped up emotions and triggered expectations that just like the BDF,PRISONS AND POLICE …whose salaries were corroded by inflation the Public Service ,including Teachers would be saved from the vicious circle of poverty that has befallen us.

It’s June and we pray….No Country ruled by teachers would face a hellhole; have haggard looking faces of unhappy peoples due to material conditions that are within a governments control. Ompatile Modise is the former National Organising Secretary of BOSETU and currently Chairperson of BOSETU central regional Board

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