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‘More efforts needed on education’

Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Moiseraele Goya has said the decline of students’ performance in terms of quality scores continues to be a challenge that needs more interventions.

Assistant Minister Goya said there is a need to focus towards a system that will provide students with non-cognitive skills as well as education for social cohesion, global competitiveness, creativity and social and emotional developments.

He said focus on access and attainment has generally overshadowed the important factors such as actual content of curricula and the real world application of what is learned in school and teacher training.

Assistant Minister Goya also said in order to address the 21st century challenges, there is need to consider a continual review, support curriculum developers in designing a holistic and relevant curricula that includes transformative educational and teaching approaches.

He indicated that strategies of improving the entire education system from pre-school to tertiary level and ensuring that it is responsive to the demands of labor market need to be developed.

Moreover, he said school administrators should be guided to develop a conducive learning environment that serves as models of sustainability and supports experimental education as well as being instructional leaders.

Goya further said enhancing quality education is a chief cornerstone of sustainable development goals.

“Quality education does not only make people more employable but it also gives them skills and values to address the tension between human development and planetary boundaries,” he said.

Meanwhile the Assistant Minister Goya also noted that though more efforts to keep improving the education standards, the tremendous achievements made towards education accessibility cannot be underestimated.

He said Botswana as a young nation with only fifty years of independence has made positive strides as Batswana youth have seen an opportunity to access higher education as well as technical and vocational education.

A representative from European Union Katrin Hagemann noted that the recently introduced Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP) is a strategy Botswana needs to fully under take in order to position itself as a globally leading education provider.

She said the ETSSP does not only encompass the Ministry of Education and Skills Development only but also its parastatals well as ministries concerned in educational aspects.

Hagemann noted that the concept of decentralization within the strategy is critical as it lays out how the Ministry should be transformed.

“Key operational roles of the coordinator of sub-sector, Planning, funding and quality assurance are delegated to the parastatal. This leaves the Ministry structure lean and flat with expertise to focus on policy implementation sector monitoring and evaluation,” he said.

Curriculum Advisor, Professor Jaap Kuiper expressed that most of Sub-Saharan African countries’ education system have a tendency to undervalue Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).He said they have insufficient relevance to young people’s personal and nation’s economic needs.

Professor Kuiper said generally Education must be responsive to the youth’s diverse needs, interest and talents as well as the country’s diverse social, economic and cultural needs.

He also noted that general education needs to offer appropriate academic pathways that develop knowledge, skills and competency.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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