The scuffle between the teachers' unions and the Botswana Examinations Council seems to be far from over.
A joint statement by the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) and the Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU) has accused the Education Minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi of misleading the public that negotiations have started at one national radio station.
"The alleged negotiations have not yet started and we are banking on the minister to broker the deal as we have indicated that we have always been ready to talk. This therefore implies that our position to disassociate ourselves with the current national final examinations still stands," the statement signed by the secretaries general of the two unions, Tidimalo Maeletso and Mogomotsi Motshegwe.
They further urged their members not to submit course work, marks, invigilate nor to mark the external examinations until the leadership of the unions is satisfied with the outcome of the proposed negotiations.
"We thank our members for their continued support and loyalty to the unions," read the statement. Reached for a comment, Motshegwe said the two unions received many calls enquiring how far the negotiations are going after the minister's interview on RB2 last Friday.
"We consulted our members at regional level after the meeting we had with her last week and we are ready for negotiations as we have always been," Motshegwe said.
"We still stand by our position of not invigilating or marking until we are satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations.
Right now we don't know what will be the outcome," he said. Venson-Moitoi said that she was not aware of any interview that she gave after her meeting with the unions where they agreed not to give interviews to the media separately. "I am still waiting for the MoE officers who are working on this issue, who were supposed to meet with the union leaders after consulting their members to set a meeting to resume the negotiations," she said, adding that beyond that she has not done much except to stand by the agreement made with the unions last week.