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Is Education Still A Priority?

One of the oldest schools in the country, Moeng College celebrated its 70th anniversary on Friday.  A huge milestone, indeed, and Shashe River Secondary School come Friday will also celebrate its 50th anniversary. The two schools used to be known for being amongst the top performing nationwide.

They seem to be struggling in terms of maintaining good results and the two with the support of alumni are looking into what can be done about the poor academic performance in government schools.

Those who attended the Moeng College anniversary returned pained by the state of the school. Speakers at the ceremony did not mince words when talking about the state of the school. One of the speakers, Letsweletse Garebao, highlighted that some of the challenges faced by the school.

“Laboratories are but a shadow of themselves, classes have potholed floors, traditional chalkboards are falling, and don’t support writing on them, windows are shuttered badly or broken, doors are either broken or hang on single hinges. Teachers’ houses look like pig pans.

The houses are substandard, inadequate and teachers are crammed in single units in numbers. Blocked pipes are normalcy. Frequent water, electricity and network outages are a familiar phenomena.”

Some people are quick to blame teachers when schools start recording poor results without investigating underlying issues that may be contributing to the situation. With the explanation given on the state the school is in, do we expect teachers to be able to do their work to the best of their abilities?

It is the responsibility of the employer

to provide a conducive work environment that will enable its employees to do their work effectively and efficiently. Now would teachers be expected to carry out their duties effectively if for example the chalkboards are falling and don’t support writing on? How is the teacher supposed to teach students in such an environment?

Just talk without giving notes? It is already obvious what part of the problem is, and while the government may have recently set aside money for refurbishment of some of the schools, the fact remains the government took way too long, and thus the decision has also affected learners.

Moeng College as described by those who attended the ceremony is an accident waiting to happen, and it is not hygienic or safe for either teachers or students.

If education is indeed a priority for us would we neglect our schools to reach the level of being inhabitable, but still expect teachers and students to utilise the dilapidated structures? Moeng College is not the only school by the way, there are many others nationwide.

It is time that we set our priorities right and ensure that teachers like other government employees are given the necessary support and tools to excel in their call to duty.




Flogging a dead horse

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