As the teachers gather in Francistown this week for the BOSETU Conference, the Monitor peeps into the BOSETU Executive Secretary’s report for the burning issues.
Hours Of Work
At some point last year, a sort of an understanding was arrived at between the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) and both BOSETU and BTU that teachers could either be migrated to the 26/24 days model or be given a professional allowance.
However the ministry said the DPSM could not accede to any either model. The unresolved issue of hours of work has reduced contact time of teachers and learners hence affected teaching and learning.
A dominant source of conflict in schools is due to either different interpretations of overtime regulations or management unwilling to pay the teachers.
Currently the issues surrounding overtime are refusal to pay overtime as per the hours worked and wanting to force teachers to cut on the number of hours worked.
Meanwhile, the lawyers have been instructed to provide an opinion on the issue of whether the Employment Act clause that regulates the total overtime hours to be worked in a week refers to a working week or it includes weekends / rest days.
Promotion of teachers
The MoESD has been vacillating between promoting teachers through interviews and promotion through recommendations. This has brought confusion as to which procedure for promotion is used for teachers. This has caused disgruntlement among the teaching force due to the unpredictability of the promotion procedure. BOSETU is of the view that this has bred corruption in promotion of teachers.
BOSETU is of the view that Botswana still has some classes with over 40 pupils,
Vs A Two – Tier Education
BOSETU is of the view that the education system of this country should promote a two – tier system where vocational education and academic theoretical education are at par, to get away from the current situation that has marginalised vocational education and relegated it to failures, consequently stigmatising brigades and vocational training centres.
BOSETU is of the view that lack of subject specialisation by primary school teachers is among the causes of poor results and that it is high time government introduced specialisation at this level.
Pre – Primary Education
BOSETU wants government to hire pre-school teachers for this exercise rather than the current scenario where standard seven teachers are engaged to teach at pre-schools.
BOSETU has observed the proliferation of private tertiary institutions on a daily basis and they offer irrelevant courses in terms of the markets demand. According to BOSETU some public tertiary institutions are being pushed out of the government infrastructure that they are currently occupying in favour of the private tertiary institutions.
BOSETU is concerned that government is moving in earnest to close down the Colleges of Education without sufficient consultation
Some employees in brigades continue to be referred to as temporary full time employees, a status that has made their employment conditions deplorable.