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Bye Bye 2018, Welcome 2019

IGNATIOUS NJOBVU
If perhaps one had thought that 2018 was very eventful, then adjustment of our thoughts in preparation for 2019 is a necessity. Don’t get me wrong, 2018 was full of successful events, on the other hand, it posed challenges too.

The year provides us with an opportunity to reflect, so that 2019 becomes even better. On the education front, this year brought with it debates on the need for transformation. As a nation, we seem to agree that our education system has served us well.

Generally, the population is literate. We have done exceptionally well in the academic pathway. Several Batswana are even occupying executive positions in international organisations and firms; a good indicator that our education system is doing quite well.

However, we now need an education system that will not only breed literate human resource, but will also enable them to sustain the economy through knowledge means. This is my very last submission this year. In it, I would like to posit my wishes for 2019 specifically for our education. Top of my list is my wish to have an increase in salary. Like anybody else, I wish to fatten my wallet so that I can be able to cover a wider range of issues on my errands.

Being an external motivator, money helps one to express their will for self-actualisation. My second wish is to see some feasible steps taken with regard to Multiple Pathways implementation.

Let us commit ourselves to verifying the plan to the last detail so that Pathways can start running by 2020. If by any chance we are to encounter some problems during implementation, we are going to be addressing them as and when they come.

My third wish is to see further decentralisation taking place in government processes especially in the Basic Education ministry. Our regional and sub-regional offices need further empowerment in order for them to execute their mandate efficiently. I am proposing that by the end of 2019, D3 scale and below should be left for the region to manipulate. Some regions are too big in area.

For proper management and funding, some sub- regions need to be promoted to full regions. If my

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wish proves to be too expensive for 2019, then a post for deputy directorship should be created.

As I am wishing for further decentralisation, I would like to propose that Botswana Examinations Council look into the idea of decentralising marking centres. Marking exercise should be spread across the country for purposes of convenience and effectiveness.  My fourth wish is in line with curriculum development. I would like to see further research being conducted by teachers to explore better ways of curricular delivery. School based action research should be encouraged. It is through some ideas emanating from research that we can improve our curriculum content and curricular delivery. This is continuous professional development.  Furthermore, I very much wish to see the enactment of Botswana Teaching Council. I do believe that in order for us to further improve productivity and professionalism, we need standards for entry in the teaching profession and standards for teaching licence renewal. Connected to that, we need to do away with the current set of progression levels. We must introduce descriptions such as Novice, Proficient and Master teachers to signify levels of competence.

In conclusion, I want to express my gratitude towards The Monitor for providing me with the opportunity to express my views on various subjects. It is indeed an honour to have had the chance to use such reputable media house to discuss issues pertaining to education.  I have since attracted a new name from my friends (columnist). The platform has also helped me to research more on educational matters. As we are heading for the festive season, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  Let us engage safely, enjoy safely, play safely and work safely. Let us be mindful of the fact that our lives are even valuable to other people. Be blessed as we welcome 2019.



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