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Last Updated
Monday 14 June 2021, 19:13 pm.
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Yet more chaos at home economics exams

As the examinations crisis continues to rage, home economics students in Gaborone junior community secondary schools have revealed that they had to beg for ingredients from teachers' living quarters to do practicals for their examinations.
By EPHRAIM KEORENG
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Yet more chaos at home economics exams








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In an interview yesterday, a Form Three student accompanied by her teachers at a certain school said that she had to run around the teachers' living quarters looking for morogo wa Setswana or bean leaves after discovering that the ingredient was not available.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, she said that normally a shopping list is drawn in advance and given to teachers involved in the examinations. The teachers would then go and buy everything that has been listed so that individual students will be able to prepare dishes they have indicated on their menu cards.

However, the situation this time is exacerbated by the fact that teachers and school heads have resolved that they will not invigilate and they also refused to play a part in planning for practicals and other things associated with invigilation.

Some education officers are understood to have gone to buy the ingredients and due to their inexperience in such preparations, failed to buy the right stuff in some instances.

"I am supposed to cook an indigenous dish and they brought spinach. When I told them I wanted morogo wa Setswana they said I should improvise and use the spinach. How do I do that when I have already indicated that I will use morogo wa Setswana.

I was fortunate that when I went around teachers' quarters' I found it at a teacher's house who kindly gave it to me. I also needed apples for my dish and it was not provided, but luckily I had some in my personal lunch pack, so I used them for the dish," she said.

She revealed that a lot of students panicked as they are wondering if their ingredients will be available. The female student also revealed that some of them are expected to prepare pet meals, which have to be packaged in small cooler bags.

"But because this examination has been postponed - it should have been written last month - we were not financially prepared to buy the cooler

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bags in time. We were just told this week that the examination is on today and tomorrow (Friday). Some of the students are orphans and it takes a long time to get the social workers to provide these items. So it is chaotic here," she said.

She said she was gripped by fear especially that she has heard that teachers have resolved they will not even mark the examinations.

"Who will mark the papers? I don't want my examinations to be marked by someone who doesn't know anything about teaching and examinations," she said.

The teachers who accompanied the student confirmed that some students have been running around looking for ingredients at their living quarters.

When contacted for comment, a school head revealed that the home economics examinations were not going well. The school administrator said ingredients were bought by education officers very late when the examination was about to start.

"These people are misleading the nation when they say the examinations are running smoothly. We were only informed this week that examinations will be on Thursday and Friday this week. Normally we are told two weeks in advance so that preparations like planning and purchasing necessary ingredients can be done in time," said the school head. The school administrator said they have done a good job of teaching students and preparing them for examinations and they expected them to pass. If they fail, the school head said the blame should fall on the Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) for using unskilled people in planning and invigilating the examinations. At one time this paper reported that office cleaners were engaged to invigilate an examination paper.

When contacted for comment, BEC spokesman, Charles Keikotlhae, said he was not aware of reports of students running around looking for ingredients because they had not been provided.

He referred this reporter to BEC examinations director, Baeti Charumbira, who said that BEC does not provide ingredients.

"Ask the schools, they are the ones who provide ingredients," she said.

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