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BOSETU goodwill message to Masisi

Teachers are giving Masisi the benefit of doubt
BOSETU would like to join the nation in congratulating His Excellency the President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi as the 5th President of the Republic of Botswana having taken the baton from HE President Lieutenant Seretse Khama Ian Khama on April 1, 2018.

As BOSETU we wish you and the people of this country; continued good health, success, prosperity and peace during your tenure.

As you take up office your Excellency, BOSETU as a partner in the good health of our education, national democracy, economic and all other spheres of development wish to thank you most heartily for accepting the call to serve Batswana of all creed, colour and social disposition with equal integrity.

Your Excellency, BOSETU as a partner in education wishes to commit to giving you unfeigned support in improving the quality of the education system of this country and by extension in improving the quality of life of all Batswana regardless of their social standing. BOSETU and Batswana trust unto you the monumental responsibility of dedicated leadership and a display of probity beyond reproach that comes with your office as President of the republic as they place hope against hope for a meaningful and relevant education.

It is our duty as a trade union to constantly hold you to account and such move should not be viewed, as has been the case by past administrators, as meddling in partisan politics. BOSETU as a trade union of repute would have abdicated its entrusted duties most treacherously if it does not from time to time remind Your Excellency about the solemn pledge you took before God and the people of Botswana to uphold the constitution and to protect its sanctity.

BOSETU, as an organisationally solid trade union with the mandate to: aggressively unite workers against exploitation, defend and protect the welfare of our members and this republic we pray that you remember your oath. You swore “to uphold the Constitution, the rule of law, and maintenance of national unity, peace and prosperity”. Let this be your touchstone. As BOSETU we commit to supporting your leadership in building this country to what it used to be – a beacon of democracy and quality of life of its people.

Your Excellency,

having been a teacher yourself, we wish to remind you of the plight of the country’s education system and are of the conviction you would appreciate the situation much better. Over the years, the country’s education has been grossly underperforming due to a raft of problems bedeviling the national education system. These include: An education system that isn’t responsive to national needs – curricula relevance An education system that isn’t based on values, culture and aspirations of the nation – over crowded curricula and over assessment

Poor service delivery across the education system (disproportionate teacher-student ratio, lack of teaching-learning rooms, unavailability of books, stationary, poor ICT infrastructure, poor library resources, etc.)

Weak school governance leading to a culture of anarchy, substance and drug abuse, and violence against teachers by their pupils and against pupils by their peers in our schools

Crushed teacher morale

Lack of integrated and targeted Continuing Professional Development programme for in-service

Poor remuneration and welfare packages

Lack of offices and housing

Your Excellency, there is a litany of problems that besiege our education system. This is just a synopsis of what your Presidency has to deal with as a matter of urgency.

BOSETU is alive to the dwindling national coffers and the competing national interests. However, if as a nation we wish to meaningfully engage in economic diversification and turn Botswana into an innovation hub and a knowledge based economy, the nation needs to rearrange its priorities and have education as a number one priority. Flowing from the above, much more strategic funding is urgently needed in the education sector. In the process of solving these debilitating but not necessarily insurmountable challenges facing our education system BOSETU prays that Your Excellency begins to engage in a meaningful dialogue with all teacher trade unions, academics, students and Batswana in general.

May we once again wish Your Excellency good health and a very productive tenure in office.


*Innocent Mannathoko is the acting secretary general of BOSETU

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