Mmegi Online :: BEC, Moral Education teachers clash over payment
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Last Updated
Friday 20 September 2019, 16:30 pm.
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BEC, Moral Education teachers clash over payment

It was tools down at the Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) Rainbow International School marking centre in Gaborone as Moral Education teachers boycotted marking students’ scripts unless the exams body resolved their payment issue.
By Nnasaretha Kgamanyane Fri 14 Dec 2018, 13:24 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BEC, Moral Education teachers clash over payment








About 155 aggrieved teachers stood outside the school hall and classrooms after BEC failed to review their payments.

A teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity told Mmegi that the problem started on December 3, 2018 when they were supposed to start marking. The teacher said they could sense that something was wrong between team leaders and principal examiners.

“We were not told anything. On Saturday we were called and told to start working, as we had not being doing anything for the past five days. We refused and told our team leaders and principal examiners to resolve our payment issue with BEC. We realised that we were not going to earn anything despite the hard work we would be doing. We then wrote a letter to BEC asking to meet with the bosses so that we could raise our grievances and meet a common understanding,” she said.

She said on Monday they were told to start marking as their complaints would be attended to next year, but they turned down the instruction. She indicated that they declined as they had already highlighted their grievances regarding their payments in the previous evaluation reports that are submitted every end of marking period annually, but nothing had been done.

“We bent rules last year and we cannot do it again this year. We refuse to be exploited by BEC. We are paid P17.27 per script and each of us has to mark 202 scripts. When the 25% tax money is subtracted we would be basically left with negatives.”

“On Monday this week, BEC Executive Secretary, Professor Brian Mokopakgosi came to meet us with an attitude. He told us that he had seven minutes with us. During those few minutes, he didn’t listen to our grievances, but instructed us to start working.

“He said whoever wanted to mark must start doing so immediately and those who did not want must terminate their contracts immediately. We all signed because we wanted to mark

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and we will do that once our complaints have been addressed,” she said.

She said that BEC wanted to pressurise them to terminate their contracts and they would not because they were keen to start marking once their payment issue had been settled. She added that they could not terminate their contracts because they were not paid for the days they had been reporting for work.

In a complaint letter addressed to BEC, the teachers stated that they were not aware of the fact that they had to pay 25% tax, but only 10%.

They indicated that due to that factor, they were left with Botswana Unified Revenue Service debts, which also accumulate interest on monthly basis, in the long run; it would also affect their retirement packages, as they were unable to settle the outstanding balance.

They noted that the tax certificate did not reflect the true picture of what the examiner earned in the 2017 marking exercise but rather reflected more while they earned less.

In an interview, BOSETU secretary general, Tabokani Rari said their view on the impasse between BEC and examiners was that yet again the exams body had failed the nation.

“This is absolute incompetence. There is no better word that could explain this that has become a routine culture. BEC is arrogant and has become a law unto themselves. They do not want to negotiate with Trade Unions that are employees, markers representatives,” he stated.

“We signed a MoU with them, but they stuck to their position when we tried to commence the negotiations. We were differing on this very issue of composite fee which teachers are complaining about.” 

He also made it clear that they did not have any agreement on the condition of service for markers, which is contrary to what BEC alleged in its press statement. Efforts to reach the BEC top brass were futile at the time of going to press.

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