- Want unproductive teachers axed
- Call for creation of dialogue forums with participation of teachers
“It is important for the Ministry of Basic Education to engage unions with a view to working together so that a proper solution may be found,” said the president of Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Gotlamang Oitsile, in an interview.
Oitsile emphasised the importance of stakeholders in education to recognise that there are problems and that a solution can be found by meaningful engagement with one another.
However, BTU is concerned that unresolved issues of teachers’ welfare are a factor in the high failure rate. “The government must realise that improving conditions of service for teachers will trigger good performance and cooperation in schools, leading to desirable results,” Otsile said. “Sitting together with the ministry would give us an opportunity to appreciate and acknowledge the magnitude of the situation, which in turn could be shared with teachers for their participation in finding solutions.”
At the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU), the Publicity Secretary Oreeditse Nyatso also called for creation of dialogue forums for reforming public education and for teachers to participate in such forums. “The first thing to do is to create a platform where all parties could honestly dissect the problems,” Nyatso said. “Dialogue and respect for each other are critical.”
He dismissed past engagements with Botswana Examinations Council (BEC), saying BEC belittled teachers and their representatives. He also called for prompt attention to “teachers’ working conditions and to address their welfare issues”. Similarly, the president of the Botswana Federation of Public and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU), Johannes Tshukudu wants radical interventions to cure the Botswana’s ailing public education system.
According to the veteran trade unionist, a serious teaching staff audit to do away with unproductive and unprofessional teachers should be one of the interventions. The teacher-student ratio is another, as is improving office and residential accommodation for teaching staff. “Renovate and equip all schools as a support to teaching and learning,” Tshukudu said.