Stop Provoking Teachers, Dow Warned

MP Mmolotsi
MP Mmolotsi

FRANCISTOWN: Francistown South Member of Parliament (MP), Wynter Mmolotsi, has warned Education and Skills Development Minister, Unity Dow, against “provoking teachers, unless she is prepared to fight a war whose effects will be residual.”

Delivering  a keynote address at the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sectors’ Conference in Francistown last Saturday, Mmolotsi accused Minister  Dow of doing everything within her power to reverse teachers’ gains.The BTU successfully won the essential services war at the courts of law after taking the government to court over the invigilation, coursework and marking of examinations set by the Botswana Examination Council (BEC).

Mmolotsi claimed that Dow wants to amend the schedule and include teachers and others by force into educationists and other professions to be recognised as essential service providers within the public service.

“The minister (Dow) has recently gazetted a Bill called the Botswana Examination Council (BEC) Amendment Bill to reverse the gains you (teachers) made previously. What the minister is doing is what I call provocation.

 “She is insulting the intelligence of the teachers and of all who respect the rule of law.

We are ready to fight to the bitter end  that this draconian Bill aimed at denying teachers the financial benefits of invigilation and coursework does not see the light of the day. These issues will be opposed in the most aggressive manner,” he said.

The opposition legislator said the Bill is not intended to bring any good to the teachers.  According to Mmolotsi, the Bill is aimed at provoking teachers and their sympathisers thereby demoralising the teachers’.

Mmolotsi appealed to every BTU member to lobby their respective MPs, and urge them to refuse the envisaged Bill when it comes to the august house in the next sitting, adding that the Bill should not pass.

BTU president, Johannes Tshukudu, demanded that the unions be given the opportunity to shape the education system of Botswana. He said unions are key partners in the development of quality education in the country. Tshukudu said it would be difficult for the future of this country to be shaped without the assistance of unions. He added that government should be actively involved in the transformation of the education sector of Botswana.

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