The Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) says it is not impressed with the recently released Standard 5 results, which it says indicate deteriorating conditions in schools.
The results, released on Friday, indicate a marginal increased compared to last year.
“These results are a manifestation of conditions in which learners are being taught as well as the overflowing classes where the teacher/students ratio is beyond the standard one,” the union’s publicity secretary, Tidimalo Maeletso said.
He said water supply interruptions which had plagued the southern region, had resulted in learners in some areas missing schoolwork as not all schools had reservoirs to store water.
Maeletso said the administration of education had become increasingly skewed towards punishing teachers, as opposed to supervising the teaching and learning process holistically.
The engagement of temporary teachers, he said, was a “very flawed area that was not managed well.
“For instance, you will find out that when these temporary employees’ contract ends there are no plans in advance to replace them,” he said.
“As a result, learners can go for as long as four months without a teacher, while a replacement is being sought.”
Regarding the close to 200 Standard 7 grades withheld by the Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) pending a six-week probe, Maeletso said there was a greater need for supervision.
“Because the system is concerned more about punitive measures against teachers, very critical aspects of education such as supervision are neglected in the process,” he said.
Maeletso said the union was determined to ensure professionalism in the teaching fraternity as pockets of indiscipline also had a bearing on poor results.
“As a union we represent the teachers and work hard to ensure that their welfare and interests are safeguarded,” he said.
“That is only achievable when they uphold professionalism, but in some instances teachers indulge in love affairs with learners and that is uncalled for and non-professional.”
Efforts to reach the Botswana Sectors of Educators’ Trade Union for comment on the results were futile yesterday.