School sports in dire state

Gaotlhobogwe fears the imoasse can chase away sponsors PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Gaotlhobogwe fears the imoasse can chase away sponsors PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

DIGAWANA: The drawn-out impasse between teachers and the Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) over extra curricula allowances has left school sports in a dire state.

This was said by Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA), president Joshua Gaotlhobogwe at the COPA Coca-Cola launch this week. Gaotlhobogwe said this year’s secondary schools competitions have been hit the hardest by the deadlock as schools have struggled with finances thus affecting participation levels due to little or lack of sporting equipment.

“The cost of running competitions has skyrocketed and this has become a threat to our national championships and also our participation in regional, continental and world championships,” he said.

“The allocation (of funds) in individual schools is so little that schools are no longer able to purchase sport equipment.”

Gaotlhobogwe also feared that the dragging matters could chase away the potential sponsors if they remain unresolved while some teachers continue to boycott sporting activities.  “Our operations continue to be affected by some unresolved issues between the teachers and the government on issues of welfare. This has become a serious threat with our relationships with the sponsors, as some schools were not able to participate in our competitions and this could make sponsors reconsider their engagement with us in the future, this is very worrisome.”

“There is a serious conflict between co-curriculum and academic programmes in schools that some schools have declared their non-participation in sports and have done so against the wishes of the ministry. This has denied the children to showcase their talents. There were also concerns over the security of our young athletes in schools during competitions due to minimal security personnel in our schools,” Gaotlhobogwe said.

The Minister of MoBE, Bagalatia Arone admitted that the issue has affected sport, but revealed that the Ministry is going through a restructuring process and will include sports as part of the school curriculum.

“We made a mistake by labelling sports as an extra curriculum activity. The ministry is currently going through a restructuring process and we will include sport as part of the curriculum,” he said. “Talent has gone to waste due to these issues, it will be through the restructuring process that we will try to help in nurturing talent.”

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