- Suggests pilot project in Gaborone
- Says Internet connectivity in schools necessary
Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) has appealed to the government to pilot a virtual learning project in public schools across Greater Gaborone amid rising COVID-19 infections.
The Secretary General of BOSETU, Tobokani Rari, told The Botswana Gazette in an interview this week that with infections on the rise in public schools, the government should invest in promoting home learning for pupils and students.
Rari said although poor infrastructure to support such a project countrywide may be a hindrance, the government should pilot it in Greater Gaborone where there is better infrastructure before rolling it out.
He stated that installing infrastructure to support Internet connectivity in schools would go a long way in reducing levels of COVID-19 infections. “The problem with public schools at this time is that there is no Internet connectivity,” Rari noted. “So before we talk about virtual learning, we should talk about issues of infrastructure and provision of gadgets to enable pupils to have better access to education amenities.”
Given the current situation of COVID-19, this year’s budget speech should have spoken to bettering accessibility of education, the unionist said. Had the government realigned its priorities to match the current demands, COVID-19 infections in public schools would not be as high as they are now.
“There is somewhere to start,” he added. “We understand that it is a big project, but the government could use Gaborone schools since they are well connected. It is better to start now with a pilot project. Government should seriously look into this issue because the way infections are rising in schools, learning could become gravely affected.”
Early this year, BOSETU called for public schools to be closed amid rising infections. The government instead decided to order teachers to appear in schools only for lessons.