The Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Unions (BOSETU) has slammed the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) for failing to take appropriate steps in redeeming the country’s education system and have since vowed to do all they can in the year 2015 for the betterment of the education. Amongst the issues of concern are hours of work and overtime for teachers; poor state of sectoral bargaining; levels of operation and class sizes amongst others.
“BOSETU is of the view that government is out to exploit teachers by making them to work extremely long hours and not compensate them as evidenced by a high number of teachers who have worked both after hours and on rest days but received no compensation. In our view such exploitation and disregard of the statutes can no longer be tolerated.” BOSETU Secretary General Tobokani Rari said adding that they will hold countrywide consultations so they get the membership’s view on these sacrifices.
Rari said the year 2014 experienced stagnancy in the resolution of issues related to Levels of Operation. Though he said there were areas of concern. “We are aware that government seem to be reneging on the agreement that Primary School teachers should be able to move up to C1. This is an issue that we are monitoring closely. Still with respect to Primary Schools, there is still an issue of the position of Senior Grade 1 being pitched below other senior teachers at other levels. The issue of the Senior Secondary School teachers who have benefited from the levels of operation dispensation and were later reversed to the previous scale is a worrying phenomenon. This is one issue which will be dealt with through litigations. The employer has once again faired very badly in this regard”, he stated.
Rari further said the year saw yet another lacklustre and a seemingly reluctant attitude in dealing with the class sizes. He said it is evident that one factor resulting in downward trend of final examination results across all streams is the high student /teacher ratio.” Research has shown that the more students are in a class, the less the attention that a teacher gives to individual students in a class. High class sizes force teachers to use the ineffective instructional methods. The international trend is that the student – teacher ratio is now 1:25 while in our case it remains at 1:45. This is an issue that government seems not to be taking seriously.” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from the ministry at the time of going to press were unsuccessful.