FRANCISTOWN: Francistown Institute of Health Sciences (FIHS) has donated full school uniform to the underprivileged students at Matsiloje Junior Secondary School (MJSS).
The institution donated full school uniform to 18 boys and 19 girls, giving an overall of 37 students who benefitted from the endowment.
MJSS was one of the worst performing schools in the recently released Junior Certificate Examination after scooping the last position in North-East region.
In his remarks the MJSS school head, Lebogang Setilo expressed gratitude towards FIHS stating that the donation will go a long way in addressing the issue of the school’s poor academic performance.
Setilo said the school did not perform well in the 2019 JCE results both regionally and by cluster with 28.8% pass rate, which was way below the set standard by the region and Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE).
He said the school performance declined by 3.70% from 32.50% attained in 2018.
Setilo also said that the region, parents, teachers and the country as a whole were devastated by the outcome of the poor results.
When giving the school background, Setilo said that given the current circumstances, they are operating a 12-stream boarding school as opposed to the nine-stream boarding school, which MJSS falls under. He added that the school stands at a capacity of 500 students with an additional three classes. According to Setilo, they only have 44 teachers who stand at an average of 1:43 as per the current teacher to student ratio.
In an interview the MJSS school head labelled poor work ethic and lack of parental involvement in children’s academic work as a hindrance to excelling.
Setilo, who was sketchy on details, said parental involvement was minimal during Parents Teachers Association
When speaking about their turnaround strategy he said they are going to enforce on instructional management, hold workshops on work ethic and give motivational talks to the students so as to improve their performance.
In her remarks FIHS principal, Tiny Noke said that there is a need to invest in education and training sector.
She also said the intention of access and inclusivity of education is a deliberate action intended to reverse present poverty levels and restore the dignity of Botswana.
The principal of FIHS added that they felt the need to come to the party in ascertaining that they take part in facilitating the national development agenda hence their donation to the disadvantaged students at MJSS. She stated that as a health training institution they recognise the importance of a balance that has to be struck between academic achievement, physical, social and mental well-being.
Noke said the humanitarian gesture by FIHS students and staff is aligned to ensuring dignity to fellow Botswana and also synchronised with the expectations of Sustainable Development Goal three and four, which speak of good health and quality education.
He encouraged different stakeholders and management of MJSS to ensure that the school rises from zero to hero towards the national development agenda.
“To the parents and the different organs that support the teaching and learning efforts of MJSS ‘Moroto oo esi gao ele’ let us join hands ascertaining that MJSS learners bring home the achievement results that we desire and to which we have been party to,” she said.