Former Minister of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi is not only candid about her failures at the ministry but also revealed that they do not have a record of how many teachers are employed at government schools.
In supporting the supplementary budget, Venson-Moitoi revealed that the Education Ministry was still grappling with the issue of Levels of Operation (LOO). “I left the Ministry of Education when the issue of Levels of Operation was still to be resolved. I am shy to disclose that I failed to resolve the issue,” she said.
Venson-Moitoi who is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said this when debating the supplementary estimates of expenditure for the consolidated fund for the Financial Year 2014/2015 for the MoESD.
This was after the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo had asked Parliament to approve P568,968,430 to buy food for students for this month and March.
Two years ago it was announced that the government had resolved to act on the recommendation by the MoESD on the issue of LOO. The announcement also stated that teachers’ salary grades would be reviewed to bring them in line with the general practice elsewhere in the public service, and that teachers in ‘C’ band would be able to progress within the grade, provided they have the qualifications and where their performance warrants such movement.
It was also stated that the progression for headship levels for Colleges of Education and Technical Colleges would stretch to E2 and D1 respectively; for secondary schools would stretch to D1 and D2 and for primary schools to D2 and D3. There will be separation of the different management positions and recognitions of the different levels of accountability and responsibility, it was announced.
What complicates the matter, said Venson-Moitoi, was that the government does not have records of how many teachers are in its employment.
“We are still compiling our records so that we pay teachers what is due to them accordingly.” She said Parliament should not be surprised when the Education Ministry comes back to plead for another supplementary budget.
Last year, in what sounded like an April fools prank, President Ian Khama bowed to pressure by side-shifting Venson-Moitoi. At the time it was disclosed that Khama had granted Venson-Moitoi leave of absence from her ministerial duties at the MoESD. She was appointed to undertake a special assignment within the MoESD.