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Primary schools deserve better

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Teachers are the pillars of the nation. Primary School teachers in particular are the most crucial and therefore needs special treatment at all times. There are many reasons that one can advance for this: they deal with very young and volatile children as early as 5 years old, the condition under which they work bearing in mind the loads of their classes, majority of the cases Primary schools are somehow neglected.
Get to any primary school in any part of the country; you will agree with me that the primary school teachers have a mammoth task. Between the classes of standard 1 to 4, teachers literally become the ‘nannies’. Majority of our children who attend public primary schools go there very  ‘raw’ in all aspects; academically for they could not attend private pre -schools, (public pre-primary schools must be fast tracked), for obvious reasons, behaviour wise it is even worse bearing in mind the various  conditions under which they grow.
Parents literally dump their children on the primary school teachers and expect them to: teach them good manners, cleanliness over and above the academic work. The parents would then disappear into thin air leaving the entire burden on the primary school teachers. Well, the poor parents, some of them though, would have gone out there to fend for the very same child. Most parents, sadly women, really struggle to make ends meet to bring up their children let alone educating them in these hard economic times. These parents would hardly have free time to visit their children at school and get to know their progress hence the pains primary school teachers go through from January to December.
By “special treatment” here I am referring to availing all the necessary support and resources to primary schools. Primary school teachers sacrifice a lot to the extent of using their own resources inline of their duty. It is even worse in the rural areas of this republic. In short, in some instances they almost run the schools from their own pockets.  If one has to feel for them, one has to attend their meetings… You will shed a tear I tell you!
The fact that most of the primary schools do not have their own transport, photo copying machines, faxes and electricity makes the lives of primary school teachers very difficult: Honestly speaking, primary school teachers work under duress. I always feel for them when they have to account for bad results under these circumstances.
As we celebrate 50 years of Independence and what we have achieved as a country, let’s not just celebrate that we have increased our schools numerically. We should be able to account for the quality of production of the same as well, especially for the primary schools. Yes the number of our primary schools has increased significantly ever since 1966, I agree, but when we still have serious shortage of resources especially classrooms then we need to be worried. The government should seriously consider channelling her efforts towards ‘rehabilitating’ our public primary schools going forward.
Solomon Batsietswe

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