The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE), Bridget John has just completed a familiarisation tour to the great North West Region.
The insightful engagements that she had with various education stakeholders made her appreciate the challenges that the region is facing. Being one of the regions that are not performing well in academics, the Ministry head felt that she had to come and rally her troops to produce better results.
The message that came with our leader was clear ‘do more with less’. It is an open secret that MoBE gets the lion’s share of the total governments’ budget.
This financial year we have been allocated with just over eight billion. We will forever be grateful to government for its continuous commitment for human capital development.
However, we need to understand that 73% of that total money goes to salaries and other emoluments. This then means that the remaining amount should cater for maintenance, teaching and learning resources, feeding and other running costs.
Do more with less is a philosophy that goes in line with the concept of ‘Sustainable Development’. The concept has emerged as a new paradigm and development approach, in order to address the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Thus, the Ministry leadership was emphasising the very point that the little resources at our disposal should be utilised in a manner consistent with carrying out our primary mandate at least, which is to provide quality and relevant education to the students.
The overriding imperative is to balance what is at our disposal currently
One of the five transformative shifts that the world will embark on in the next 15 years as per the global agenda for sustainable development is to transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth and leave no-one behind (Vision 2036, page 6).
The MoBE is at the forefront of issues that address equity in education. Programmes are already put in place to address the needs of learners with disabilities and vulnerable/disadvantaged students.
Latest, MoBE will soon implement a competence-based curriculum (multiple pathways) to address the variety in abilities from our youth in our society. All these are in line with the concept of growth in inclusivity.
In addressing the staff of Maun Senior Secondary School, the PS emphasised good governance, accountability and most importantly communication as the critical ingredients to effective schools.
The leadership further said that if we can apply ourselves to these ingredients, we will certainly avoid spending more time attending to conflicts, but rather forging forth with our mandate by creating a high-performance culture.
She pointed to the fact that we ought to manage our expectations whilst striving to add value to lives of the learner. As critical change agents, the PS pleaded with the staff to go an extra mile in seeing to it that the interests of the learner are at the heart of all the initiatives that we set as a school.