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Teachers to be paid P500 for sports activities

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
The Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) will pay teachers P500, for their participation in schools sports activities, after a decision was taken to proceed with athletics activities during the first term.

There was uncertainty over the immediate future of sports, after the Ministry took a decision to cancel overtime allowances for teachers involved in sports activities.But Mmegi Sport has learnt that teachers would now be paid P500, which would be lumped with their salaries, and subject to tax.

Schools are expected to raise casual returns and submit to sub-regions, regions and to the Ministry. Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) and Botswana Primary Schools Sports Association (BOPSSA) will provide information for the national finals.But BISA president, Joshua Gaotlhobogwe said they are not aware of any allowances that would be paid to teachers. He said the last time they met with officials from the Ministry was in December.

“We brought some suggestions and none of them included money. We are still waiting to be called for a meeting,” he said.

Instead, BISA has rejected South Region Education Director’s directive on teachers’ involvement in sport.

A savingram addressed to school heads informed schools in the region that effective January 2019, there would be no overtime allowance for training learners during sports. “Training of learners during weekends will be voluntary. All coaches are urged to use an hour of training during working days i.e. from 3:30pm to 4:30pm,” reads the savingram.

South region director, Acronews Maseko said he was simply passing on the message from the permanent secretary.“Most activities require overtime payment for teachers. Those payments drained our ministry’s coffers. We are developing athletes for the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development and we want to know how they can assist us. We are at cross roads,” he said.

Gaotlhobogwe said they were surprised to see

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the savingram from the South Region.

“But we cannot do anything because the south region director sent that letter to schools under his supervision. He is their boss, but we are getting involved in this matter because it involves our members,” he said.

Gaotlhobogwe said it was unfortunate, as the new development comes at a time when BISA and Botswana Primary Schools Sports Association (BOPSSA) are still engaging the MoBE.

“We never have issues with ball sports because they happen at the beginning of the financial year. The challenge we have is that the ministry does not have a permanent secretary at the moment,” he said. Gaotlhobogwe said they have not put a time frame on when the negotiations would be concluded.

“This is an issue that involves money and the overtime should be paid by the ministry. Right now teachers should have started training students because February competitions are starting and the nationals in April,” he said.

Gaotlhobogwe said BISA has the competition schedule, but it cannot be released before the talks are finalised.

Despite the matter, Gaotlhobogwe said competitions would proceed as usual.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has requested BISA and BOPSSA to explain why they failed to hold their annual general meetings (AGMs).

“MoBE is going to write letters to Registrar of Societies and Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) explaining the situation concerning AGMs and assuring them that they shall be held immediately after the financial year begins,” reads a letter to the two bodies. The document further states that the Ministry would write letters to Regional Directors informing them about the athletics plan once the permanent secretary approves it.



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