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Children Belong In Classrooms, Not The Roadside

One of the pillars of Vision 2016 clearly stated that Botswana was striving to have an educated and informed nation by that year. While the country has made commendable progress in ensuring that all children of school-going age have access to education, even though the issue of overcrowding in most schools still remains a challenge, it still needs to do more.

The education sector up-to-date still has plethora of challenges, but the commentary for now will address the issue of children of school-going years who are either not enrolled in schools, or dropouts of school for various reasons.  It has come to this publication’s attention that teachers in some schools have expressed concern that there are pupils who drop out of school to go and sell herbs.

The teachers seem to have done all in their powers to keep the children in school, but they seem to be fighting a losing battle. The teachers report that they have visited the children at their homes and urged the parents to encourage them to attend school, but that did not bear any fruit.

Well, it is each and every parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child attends school. Parents are supposed to give their children guidance and call them to order when they see them getting out of the way or doing something that might jeopardise their future. 

Many who frequent the A1 Highway going north, and stopped to purchase herbs, can bear testimony to having come across children of school-going age by the roadside selling herbs. The children seem to

have been lured by money they get from selling the herbs, as such, do not see the point of going to school when they can actually make money selling herbal medicines, which seem to be popular with men.

Where are the parents or guardians of those children? Parents are the children’s first teachers, and they play a critical role in shaping their children’s character. Each and every parent should take an active role in their child’s learning to ensure that the child attends school, does their homework and knows the benefits of getting an education.

The parents are the ones who should be ensuring that their children go to school, not leaving it up to the teachers to follow their children around. Perhaps the government should come up with a system that will hold parents to drop out of school without a valid reason.

It is amazing that in this day and age, there are still some parents who choose to allow their children to drop out of school and to get involved in child labour. This is a cause for concern that requires all stakeholders to come together and address issues of out-of-school children.




Ka Mme Mma Boipelego

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