The Vice President of Education International, Mr. Mugwena John Maluleke who was guest speaker at the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) has said declaring education as an essential service is against ILO conventions. He further pointed out that there have been some failed attempts by some governments in the past because they undermined ILO standards, especially Convention 876 and Convention 98.
Maluleke said in relation to teachers, the Freedom of Association Committee has indicated that they do not fall within the definition of essential services, despite the importance of their service to pupils and the community at large.
The Education International Vice President was speaking at the annual BOSETU conference, which was themed, “More time for every student, changing the future of each learner”.
Maluleke indicated that the BOSETU conference comes at a more opportune time when schools across the world are relentlessly confronted with environments of uncertainty and complexity.
“This conference comes at a time when schools are forced to grapple with reduced public funding, and told by their governments to find their own funding, while administrators are forced to become fundraisers who run schools like business as a result of reduced government funding.
Today’s august gathering of BOSETU membership is critical as we face Union bashing across the globe,” he said.
The EI executive said working conditions for teachers should be able to best promote effective learning and enable teachers to concentrate on their professional tasks.
He said authorities and teachers should recognize the importance of in-service education designed to secure a systematic improvement of the quality and content of education and of teaching techniques; “Teachers should be adequately protected against arbitrary action affecting their professional standing or career. The importance of quality teaching for quality education cannot be underestimated. To this end, teachers at all levels of education must be appropriately trained and qualified,” observed Maluleke.
Maluleke advised that appropriate joint machinery should be set up to deal with the settlement of disputes between the teachers and their employers arising out of terms and conditions of employment.
He said if the means and procedures established for these purposes should be exhausted or there should be a breakdown in negotiations between the parties, teachers’ organisations should have the right to take such other steps as are normally open to other organisations in the defence of their legitimate interest.
Meanwhile BOSETU delegates resolved to engage parents and community leaders on the subject legislations being introduced by government to regulate teachers. The teachers spoke strongly against the essentialisation of their profession which will bar them from protesting. BOSETU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari is expected to spearhead the engagement process which is aimed at informing people about government’s lack of consultation when drafting laws.
The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.
WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?
Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.
Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed. This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.
In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’ The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.
Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama).
Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.