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Mogobane JSS In Dire Straits

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
MOGOBANE: Located about 50 kilometres from Gaborone, Mogobane Junior Secondary School (JSS) should be a well-resourced institution looking at its proximity to the capital city.

But the situation on the ground is the far opposite of the what would have been a logical thought.

Among other things the school does not have a multipurpose hall, there is shortage of textbooks and classrooms.  The funding they get from the government is also a drop in the ocean. The school head, Tsemane Motsodinyane told The Monitor during a visit to the school over the weekend that they are faced with many other challenges.  The school falls under the South East District Council and admits students from Mojadife and Mogobane Primary Schools.  Currently, the school has admitted 162 students.

“When it comes to optional subjects, classes have to be divided into groups, one group would be doing Accounts while the other goes for Office Procedures.  In that very same class, it is not only Business Studies that will be taught at that period. We have other students doing Art, which means we need about four classrooms for them, but we currently have only three. The situation cuts across all levels from Form One to Three. In total, we need about eight classes to cover optional subjects and about six for basic teaching,” she said.

Motsodinyane said they cannot use the Science lab as a base room because of the risks in place. She said anything could happen if students are left unattended. She added that some could be tempted to drink chemicals or just tamper with them. She said all the labs cannot be used as base rooms and they settled for another room that was to be used as a computer room.

“The room is dilapidated and cannot be used for its initial purpose. We do not have a hall and during rainy seasons we are forced to use the library for our meetings. We have turned

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outdoor areas to classrooms for Form Ones. The ventilation inside is bad.During winter, it is cold, and in summer it gets extremely hot,” Motsodinyane said.

 “We have a serious challenge when it comes to allocation of textbooks. When the government allocates funds, they consider the size of the school and the number of students.  They do not focus on our needs. They give us little funds and we fail to buy enough textbooks for each student. Ba re tima madi tota,” she said.

Motsodinyane said the policy is that when a student’s textbook gets lost, it should be paid for. She said the funds are deposited into government coffers. To her surprise, they never receive any feedback or receive replacement for the lost books. She added that the school remains with a shortage and government does not bother to increase their funding the next financial year.

The school has all sporting codes, but when it comes to funds allocation, the school bites the dust. Motsodinyane said they can receive around P7,000 per annum. “All the codes that you find in an 18-stream school are here, but when it comes to funds we are disadvantaged. I have spoken about this issue many times, but nothing is changing. Right now we have stopped Computer Studies because we do not have the right equipment,” the disappointed school head said.

Meanwhile, the Principal Education Officer, Sesupo Lesole called upon companies to come forward and adopt the school. When asked about the absence of the hall, Lesole said the school was built around the 1980s and the construction plan excluded a multipurpose hall. She, however, promised they will look into the matter.

She said for proper learning of the children, a school needs to have a well-equipped library and access to the internet.



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