The secretary general for Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU), Tobokani Rari says it is time for all key stakeholders in the Ministry of Basic Education to engage on issues of education.
There is need for dialogue between teachers unions, Botswana Examination Council (BEC) and Ministry of Basic Education regarding lost time caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.
It is important for us to brainstorm on strategies that can assist teachers to be able to catch up on the syllabus, for example one of the suggestions could be that lessons could be extended beyond the normal times, and how teachers could be given support to continue working after hours.
This can be achieved if we join hands and work together. The stakeholders should have a clear map on what will happen after 28 days and if the situation has not stabilised. Even before lockdown was announced, teachers were still behind on their syllabuses due to shortage of books, shortage of classrooms amongst others,
He said if BEC is not engaged on some of the issues, it might assess students on content, which was not covered in the syllabuses. Rari said there is a need for all stakeholders to come up with initiatives to fasttrack the syllabus after 28 days.
If the situation has not stabilised after the 28 days, then it will be wise for the ministry to consider the students who are supposed to seat for school leaving examinations to repeat, he said. The Minister of Basic Education, Fidelis Molao said the ministry would engage relevant stakeholders on the way forward and how they could cover up for lost time. We will assess the situation on the way forward. It is still early to make decisions, Molao said.