The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has quashed allegations by a local promoter that a circular was issued recently banning concerts in school halls.
Music promoter Gilbert Seagile aka PP recently told Mmegi that the Ministry has taken the hard stance, in banning the concerts, lamenting that it would disadvantage local musicians. However deputy permanent secretary, regional offices, Opelo Makhandlela yesterday told Mmegi that he was surprised by the music promoter's allegations. " We have also been wondering what caused him to say all those things. None of us know anything about the so-called circular he was referring to. As a matter of fact that circular, if at all it existed, would have been issued by my office, it is not true at all, no one has seen such a circular", Makhandlela said.
However Makhandlela explained the possibilities of some individual school management and their Parent-Teachers Associations (PTA) deciding not to host concerts in their schools for various reasons. " Individual schools may decide, after considering certain factors not to host concerts, but it is not the ministry's policy to do so", Makhandlela told Mmegi.
Chief education officer, South Central region Itumeleng Lubinda was also surprised: " It would be a foolish thing to do. We have never discussed such a thing. The use of school halls is part of government policy encouraging schools to work together and help their communities. Hall
Lubinda went on: "If ever the government took that route, it would have to be put in writing, and refer to an earlier savingram."
Some senior secondary schools like Gaborone Secondary School and Moeding in Otse, Moeng College in Tswapong, and Tutume McConnell said they were not aware of any circular banning the use of halls by local musicians, although at Lotsane, the head-teacher Felix Mhuriro said they do not entertain concerts there.
"Musicians attract joy riders from far places who bring alcohol, drugs and other undesirable elements. We do not allow them to perform here". At Moeng College, the head teacher Spencer Rantlaleng said they engage the likes of Franco, Slizer, Jeff Matheatau, and others, usually from 2pm-6pm to entertain the students. " We are at a secluded place, we are very unique. We do not allow alcohol inside the college anyway, but we invite these musicians to come and entertain our boarding students for free. They do not attract outsiders, mainly because Moeng is secluded", the headmaster said.