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COVID-19 non-compliance rocks Mater Spei

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Mater Spei College students PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
FRANCISTOWN: Some parents of Mater Spei College (MSC) students are unhappy with lack of enforcement of COVID-19 regulations at the school.

Their concerns follow a statement from Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union which pointed fingers at the Minister of Basic Education, Fidelis Molao and the COVID-19 task force team for their laxity in enforcing adherence to set preventative protocols in schools.

When reaching out to Mmegi the parents, who preferred anonymity fearing victimisation of their children, were troubled by an unfolding situation of non-compliance to COVID-19 health protocols at MSC.

According to the parents, the Form 5 students are currently not partaking in the double shift initiative, which was intended for the schools to comply with the social distancing protocols.

The worried parents said their children complained to them that all the Form 5 classes were currently crowded.

They indicated that almost all the classrooms designated for Form 5 students were occupied by close to 40 learners each and they even took afternoon lessons so that they complete their syllabus before the final examinations.

One teacher at MSC confirmed to Mmegi that indeed the Form 5 students were not included in the double shift.

The educator said currently the Form 4 students were the ones using the double shift strategy.

The concerned teacher further said they complained to the school management

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who turned a deaf ear to the matter reasoning that when the same students came to school, they crowded in mini-buses.

The teacher said to make matters worse they were expected to teach classes of 40 students each from morning until evening so that they can push to cover their syllabus.

Asked for comment, MSC school head, Jabulani Munyere dismissed the allegations as false and misleading.

Munyere said as a matter of fact the Form 5 students were currently preparing for the national mock examinations, which were shifted to August 17 due to Greater Gaborone lockdown.

“We cannot conduct a double shift during mock examination because students need to sit for the same examination at the same time. We are currently using large classrooms in order to adhere to the social distancing protocol,” Munyere added.

For his part, regional director operations of education (North East), Labane Mokgosi said all the Form 4 and 5 students at MSC were currently on double shift.

Mokgosi said even though most of the classes at the school were small, he was certain that they adhered to all the COVID-19 regulations including the social distancing protocol.

The school has only two Form 5 classrooms.



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