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Last Updated
Monday 10 May 2021, 19:28 pm.
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Education Minister targets Facebook crowd

Education Minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has been targeting the Facebook crowd this week assuring them that despite hitches, the examinations for the Standard Seven, which conclude tomorrow, have gone smoothly.
By MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Education Minister targets Facebook crowd








The minister decided to use Facebook a few months ago to interact with the public. She knows that most students and the educated public use the social network and so her message will not be lost in translation.

Since Monday this week, Venson-Moitoi has posted three interesting articles on her wall the latest being yesterday at 7pm. Her update read:  "PSLE (STD 7) EXAMS, apart from the late start at Toromoja and Madikola, the confusion at Radikolo, all look set to run as planned in the other 800+ primary schools.

I remain indebted to those teachers who braved union intimidation and put their profession and the future of their pupils first. BIG BIG UP!! Le ka moso betsho. Bana ke ba rona rotlhe. Tsa BEC/Unions re tla di bona morago".

Venson-Moitoi's updates were immediately applauded by some facebookers, but there were also skeptics. One of them, Thando hit back: "We are very close 2 the exams we know better I disagree". The minister responded to Thando: "If my regional officers are misinforming me, and you know better, please share. I take this issue seriously and if you are true patriot, you will do it for the children. Ko ntle ga moo tota I am not in the mood ya polotiki".

On Wednesday, the minister updated her wall saying: "I am not ignoring the issue ya matichara le di-exam. I just do not feel it proper that I discuss things that are between parties before beng ba tsone ba di fetsa. BEC recruited temporary staff because invigilation is not the function of teachers, after the High Court ruling. I have publicly apologised for BEC's delay in sorting out the invigilation issue. Right now my focus ke gore bana ba kwale".

This update received 54 responses, most of them hailing Venson-Moitoi as a caring mother and a fantastic minister.

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On Tuesday, the minister used Facebook to clarify that: "Ga gona bana ba ba kwadileng masigo gare (It is not true that some pupils wrote the examinations in the middle of the night).

What happened is that a school head changed his mind about invigilating, at the last minute. A replacement had to be driven in from a neighbouring school. The pupils are normally quarantined during such delays. They wrote the exam at 10am and not 8am as planned".

This one post alone saw over 100 reactions with the likes of media personalities Comfort Ramatebele and Pamela Dube-Kelepang sharing public concerns and at times offering advice.

Another facebooker, going by the name Phineas asked:  "Is there a good number of people going to mark, and what about invigilation for the junior and senior schools?"

Venson: "The Botswana examinations council (Bec) has just completed training for both junior and senior exam invigilation. The selection for applicants for marking are their next exercise. I am advised they are on course with that as well". Phineas then wondered: "Gone mme how valid is the exam going 2 b cos of leakage,ha ba kwala diff papers how do u measure uniformity?

Meanwhile, the minister updated Mmegi in a separate response yesterday: "PSLE, barring any last minute hitches, looks set to conclude as planned tomorrow (today)".

On pending submission of marks for the course work for the junior and senior secondary schools, Venson-Moitoi said: "It turns out that most teachers have now signed up and submitting results to the regions that are still collating.

It may take a while since some of the practicals are scheduled for later. But it also turns out that others signed up only to sabotage at the last moment as happened kwa (at) Mmadikola and Toromoja. We have doubled the back up in the identified hot spots".

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