Botswana like other countries commemorated the Day of the African Child on Friday under the theme “The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development For Children In Africa: Accelerating Protection Empowerment and Equal Opportunity.”
The day saw commemorations in different parts of the country, with a variety of orators. Notably, some of the speakers were children, a welcome development; as such commemorations are one of the few times that children’s voices are heard.
While there are still a lot of challenges in our education system, the government has made a commitment to adopt a policy of ‘inclusive education for learners with disabilities’. The policy of course still has a long way to go, as the country has not reached a level where all schools in the country have resources and the human resource to cater for children with disabilities.
It cannot be disputed that education plays a vital role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders. Education gives individuals the necessary skills to be productive members of a civilised society. Our children are the leaders of tomorrow, and they deserve nothing but the best education.
While it is necessary to applaud government for its efforts with regard to ensuring that each and every Motswana child has access to education, it is also important to urge government to put education as a top priority.
Prioritising education has been preached for a long time, but it is disheartening to still see pupils/students being taught under trees, and still be dealing with
How do we expect our future leaders to get the best of education under such harsh conditions, and wouldn’t we be expecting miracles from teachers to be able to give proper attention to each and every student?
Some people have pointed fingers at the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), for being lax in improving the public school education system, owing to the fact that they send their children to private schools and could care less about what happens to other children in the society.
The fact remains that the government’s efforts in improving the public education system is slow, and another fact is that most of those in power don’t send their children to government schools, hence the lack of urgency in ensuring that the many Batswana children who attend public schools receive quality education, under favourable conditions.
Another disturbing issue is that child abuse seems to be prevalent in the country, and government does not seem to be doing enough. Most western countries have ratified protection laws for children, which ensure children’s safety from abuse, regardless of whether that abuse is perpetrated by a parent or stranger. It is against this backdrop that we urge our government to ensure the safety of our future leaders.