The Botswana Sectors of Education Trade Union (BOSETU) has called on the Minister of Finance Kenneth Matambo to allocate a bigger share of budget to basic education needs.
This they believe will come a long way in assisting the already “fumbling’ education system in Botswana.
When addressing the media on Tuesday Secretary General of BOSETU, Tobokani Rari, called upon the Minister to channel resources through to education to help solve the bigger problem which, he said, was poverty.
“We do not believe in hand-outs, we believe that a child should be empowered through education so that they too could have a brighter future,”
“At the coming budget speech we only urge that government empowers education from the grass root level, because that is where we get it all wrong. We have observed that although the education sector has in the past received about 23 to 28 percent of the budget speech, those are then channeled to the University of Botswana (UB) and others and a little is given to the basic education department.”
Rari explained that it is a problem where students have to purchase their own textbooks because there is no money for government to provide them with the tools needed for their schooling.
BOSETU however noted that they are so far impressed with the performance of the current Minister of Basic Education, Unity Dow. They said that although she was off to a rocky start, things seemed to be getting better under her leadership.
BOSETU however condemned government over the poor recently released Junior certificate (JC) results.
They say that contrary to government ‘blaming’ the new grading system (which they approved)they believe that the system is proper and that the only problem is the working conditions of the teachers, hence negatively impacting on the performance of students.
“We read that they say the grading system may have affected the results, saying that a D in today’s grading system is a C in yesterday’s grading system, no, that is not it. There is nothing wrong with the grading system, but the teacher-students ratio in classes is one major factor in the poor results,”
“In our classes today you will find one teacher handling up to 40 students in class, that is not acceptable, worldwide,” Rari said.
These are the most fundamental issues the budget should address to help with the education system in the country.
The Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) results are expected to be released end of the next month.