Ministry of Education and Skills development Central Regional Director; Operations, Molebi Morolong has blamed recent incidents of violence against teachers at Madiba Secondary school in Mahalapye on teachers who slap students.
Morolong said investigations were ongoing but expressed doubt that students can attack teachers unprovoked. “We are still doing professional investigations but I am suspicious students cannot just attack a teacher for no reason. Teachers are sometimes the ones who cause this because they will clap students who then retaliate,” noted Morolong adding that though only three students are currently under investigation, the number could increase.
The Regional Director was of the view that teachers now want to use the incidents as an excuse to stay away from classes though the students have been cautioned during the meeting. “Together with the police and village leadership we have assured teachers security so they have to go back to the classes to do their part,” emphasized Morolong.
Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions (BOFEPUSU) Secretary General Tobokani Rari has said the regional Director’s words were unfortunate as they showed a lack of regard for the security of teachers. Rari told Northcast Morolong’s blame shifting was a result of the failure of her office to bring other concerned stakeholders to help make the work place safer for teachers. “Morolong has to stop blaming teachers for staying away from classes after the incidents and make sure that she works with other stakeholders for security of teachers in Madiba,” said Rari.
Some Madiba Secondary school teachers stayed home following incidents of violence against teachers that erupted last week. Two teachers were seriously injured by students who some reports say were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. An insider has told Northcast that this was a fairly common occurrence saying the ringleaders who were given to going on drinking sprees and then abusing teachers were known.
An emergency meeting between the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and students had at the time of going to press (Monday) not allayed fears that teachers could be attacked. As a result some teachers failed to show up for classes.