Pay day for sports teachers

Kabelo Dipholo

Ministry keeps its promise on outstanding allowances

By the end of this week, almost all sports teachers who were owed by the Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) would’ve received their dues.

This was after MoBE managed to disburse outstanding funds to the respective association’s accounts.

This will bring to a close what has been a burning issue in the ministry’s relationship with sports teachers across the country.

Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was uncertainty over whether teachers would honour a calendar of events for sports activities scheduled for the schools’ first term. At the time the Ministry had an outstanding balance of over P32 million, a grant meant to have covered both sports activities held in July 2019.

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Ngami Member of Parliament, Caterpillar Hikuama put the Ministry under the spotlight during the March seating of Parliament when he asked if they were aware that teachers who were engaged in sporting activities in March and July 2019 under the agreement that they will be paid an allowance of P500 per day were yet to be paid.

In response, Assistant Minister, Nnaniki Makwinja revealed that the Ministry was yet to release funds for the 2019 calendar of events.

She further stated that her Ministry was yet to assist the associations with grants to cover both sports activities held in July, 2019 which amounted to P32,154,671.00.

“Our Ministry expects to have paid subventions to the associations before the end of July 2020, so that the teachers can be paid. The delay, as you all know, is caused by funding constraints,” said Makwinja at the time.

Good to her word, MoBE beat the end of July deadline and disbursed funds a month earlier.

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Botswana Primary Schools Sports Association (BOPSSA) Public Relations Officer Lawrence Moseki revealed to Voice Sports, that the Executive Committee is currently in Gaborone to verify account numbers of the concerned teachers. He said the Ministry has disbursed around P10 million to cover sports teachers’ outstanding allowances.

“I believe by end of this week all teachers who have been correctly captured by their respective Regional Organisers would’ve received their monies,” assured Moseki.

He said delays should also be anticipated due to bank to bank transactions, where some cheques may have to clear after three working days.

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“Since Monday, we’ve paid four regions out of a total of 10. All the regions save for North West have been verified and their money will be credited into their accounts,” Moseki told Voice Sport.

Meanwhile, Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) teachers received their dues late in April and May.

According to BISA Marketing and Communications Manager Letsweletse Jonas, their Executive Committee met during the Easter Holidays to verify and pay their teachers.

“We had requested P21.7 million and we received P20.1 million which was still enough to pay outstanding allowances and suppliers. This was made possible by the cancellation of sporting activities this year,” he said.

Jonas said they have since paid 97 percent of teachers including all their suppliers.

“Those yet to be paid had problems with their bank accounts. Some sent savings accounts and stuff like that, but its something we’re dealing with,” he said.

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