Connect with us
Advertisement

Gloves off in the BEC amendment bill debate

The Secretary General of BOSETU, Tobokani Rari

The teaching Service unions, Botswana Sector of Educator’s Union (BOSETU) and the Botswana Teacher’s Union (BTU) are seeking audience with the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Unity Dow to discuss the validity and consequences of the Botswana Examination Council Amendment Bill which was published in August this year.

The Secretary General of BOSETU, Tobokani Rari has confirmed that they intend to submit a letter requesting a meeting with the Minister sometime next week.

The bill is expected to be discussed in the next session of Parliament that starts next Month hence the Unions want to engage the Minister soon before the Legislator in an effort to make the Minister see sense in their stand.

The motive of the Bill according to Rari, is to avoid remunerating teachers for supervising, assessment and marking external examinations and to force them into forced labour.


“The ulterior motive is to use teachers for free as cheap labour. The Ministry‘s ulterior motive is to overburden teachers with work that does not form part of their contract of employment. The Ministry is not saying the motive was to avoid labour unrest because the next question will be, who is the source of labour unrest especially during exam period!” BOSETU explains.


BOSETU believes that the jury would point to BEC as a source of labour unrest due to failure to pay or remunerate teachers for the work done by them.


“It is now settled labour law and  practice that, an employee’s duty to render service is the corollary of the employer’s duty to remunerate, hence, the maxim “ no work, no pay”. The reverse applies; “No pay, no work” that is, employees who have not been paid may legitimately refuse to work without breaching their contracts,” BOSETU hinted some of the points that may be discussed with the Minister.


BOSETU is expected to bring to the attention of the Minister, who is a former Judge of the High Court, that some of the clauses she has introduced are offensive to the country’s constitution and that laws made for ulterior purpose would be declared unconstitutional by courts of law.


“In terms of Section 86 of the Constitution Parliament makes laws for the peace, good order and good government of Botswana not to avoid negotiated determination at a collective bargaining table. The Court of Appeal has held that laws made for any other or ulterior purpose would be unconstitutional. Therefore, BOSETU strongly believe that Section 5A(2) of the Bill is unconstitutional on the basis of the aforegoing grounds,” BOSETU revealed.


The amendment bill would make exam invigilation, marking and assessment of course work mandatory for teachers employed by the government. Previously this work has caused conflict between teachers and the government when they could not agree on compensation rates.


The teachers are concerned that some sections of the bill want to take away the mandate of the BEC and place it on the shoulders of teachers. Currently, the invigilation’s of external examinations and assessment of course work constitute core mandate of BEC and the court has previously made a ruling to that effect.

The teachers mandate is to teach learners and mark internal examinations. Anything that constitutes the mandate of BEC can be done by teachers through collective bargaining agreements as it has been the case. However it is believed the current bill was introduced as a way of setting aside such a court ruling and to avoid conflict and strikes going forward.


Nonetheless, BOSETU maintains that even if the bill is to be passed into law it can never force co-operation between teachers and the employer.


“It is BOSETU’s position that while the legislation may end a dispute it cannot force cooperation, it cannot force creative and innovative thinking to find long term solutions to problems and it cannot force the necessary dialogue to create productive, flexible and adaptable work places. In BOSETU’s experience improving terms and conditions of a collective agreement nature by legislative intervention has a chilling effect on the long term collective bargaining relationship between the Ministry and teacher Trade Union’s especially BOSETU.”  


The bill is expected to be discussed in Parliament in the coming session of Parliament that begins next Month. However BOSETU’s biggest concern is that prior to the publication of the bill in the government gazette, there was virtually no consultation on the part of the Ministry to consult teacher unions to make input on behalf of their members as stakeholders on the Bill.

Failure to consult the teachers through Trade Unions is in BOSETU’s opinion, a fundamental omission which may result in the legislation being declared invalid by courts.

Continue Reading

News

BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

Continue Reading

News

South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

Continue Reading

News

DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading