Multitudes of students thronged the Borwa Junior Secondary School hall to be equipped with life skills that could help them prioritise their education over drugs, teenage pregnancy, early sexual life and other social ills.
Various speakers at the well Day event held at Bokaa cautioned students against engaging in activities that could jeopardize their future. The Wellness Day was held under the theme – Curbing drug indulgence through life skills. The school had invited various personalities to make presentations to the students and coach them.
Director, Curriculum Development, Mr Leonard Mutheto who was guest speaker on the day spoke at length about promoting positive attributes in leaners. He observed that Borwa JSS decision to host a Wellness Day demonstrate a positive Vision on the part of the school despite being faced with the challenge of students who are engaged in drugs and are falling pregnant at a young age.
He appreciated that the school was doing something to address the problem. Mutheto told students to choose their friends carefully because in most cases they are a reflection of who they are. He encouraged students to ensure that focus on their education in order to prepare for a better future. He said teachers and parents must work together to shape the future of the learners.
Deputy School Head, Ms Caroline Muchengwa had earlier indicated that her school was trying it6s best to be among the best performing schools. She said they were on position two in the last Junior Certificate results albeit with a quality pass of 40 percent. She indicated that they are working hard to improve on their quality pass, something that was echoed by Mr Benjamin Radimo, who had shared that the Wellness Day is aimed at imparting the learners with life skills to ensure that they body and mind is focused on their education.
He was explaining the objectives of the Wellness Day, which also aims to expose students to various personalities outside school for purposes of grooming. Bonnie Kamona, Miss Botswana 2016 – 1st Princess motivated students urging to believe in who they are and avoid practices such as drug abuse which could terminate their school life and future prematurely.
â€¨Presenting on the topic – Transforming students outlook positively towards the media, Mr Aubrey Lute , Editor of the Weekend Post urged students choose their priorities right and focus on their education. He pointed out that drug use and other disturbing social ills were a major concern in schools. Speaking to the topic of the media he said the social media wave has forced the role of traditional media to change dramatically in the age of the internet.
Lute observed that today’s average student is more inclined towards leisure or entertainment rather than serious issues. He pointed out that “the world is not only looking for entertainers; there is more to life than entertainment!”. He said while generally students are not big customers of mainstream reading (serious newspapers) and attention listening (serious radio stations), today’s leaner must move from their comfort zone of watching soapies, movies, and reality television and mix them with more serious content such as current affairs, health, business etc.
While students’ relationship with social media is controversial in some instances because of the type of usage leaners adopt, Lute said it is important for parents and teachers to allow their children to access social media for academic purposes.
What role learners should play?
“n You must be responsible readers and listeners. Do not just glance at the headlines or capture the news headlines without appreciating the content and context. Most newspapers carry very educational pieces some of which can be relevant to the curriculum. Teachers at times borrow on such articles to enhance their teaching methods in classrooms hence learners must shift focus and use the media more constructively,” said Lute.
He said leaners must actively engage the media, mainstream and social, so that they improve their intellect, education, and creative value. But reading and engaging the media learning are giving themselves a chance to learn new things every day. They are in a position to gauge the country’s progress on many indices such as the economy, crime, democracy, among other indices.
Lute said social media can be a useful educational resource.
“Students should be encouraged to use social media to read serious content, (it usually directs to mainstream website with useful content that can shape the academic life of a student). But a word of caution is that students need a dedicated system at home and at school for them to use social media effectively. Parents and educators must introduce the subject of social media early so as to guide students in the right direction.
They must demonstrate how social media can be used for educational purposes. Educators and parents must show students the negative consequences of using social media inappropriately.”
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.
JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.
This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.
“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.
This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.
“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.
UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.
In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.
This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.
Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”
Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”
UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.
Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.
“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.
The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.
President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.
While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.