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Govt told to pay Principal Education Officers more

Judge Kebonang rules in favour of BTU, Principal Education Officers  

Government has lost with costs a case in which the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) was challenging its decision to review teachers’ salaries which resulted in School Heads earning more than their supervisors, Principal Education Officers II.

In 2013 government introduced Levels of Operation (LOO) which dealt with among other things, the adjustment of salary structures for teachers. This resulted in School Heads’ salaries being adjusted upwards. The increment of School Heads’ salaries however created an anomaly in which their earnings surpassed that of their supervisors.

The applicants in the case, Tshiamo Ndebele and 186 others, backed by BTU, approached the court to contend that the inclusion of School Heads as beneficiaries has conferred on them a legitimate expectation that they too would benefit from the implementation of the Cabinet Directive.

The applicants also argued that while not all Principal Education Officers supervised School Heads, they were nonetheless remunerated higher than School Heads and that whenever the salaries of School Heads were adjusted, they too automatically benefitted from such adjustments.

Mokwadi Teisi, currently employed by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development as Principal Education Officer II testified before court that prior to being promoted to the position of Principal Education Officer II, he had held the position of the School head in various schools in Botswana.

Teisi told the court that Principal Education Officer positions were senior to School Heads positions in terms of remuneration; responsibility; accountability and general status.

Teisi was also of the view that it would not only be criminal if School Heads were to earn more that Principal Education Officers because that would erode the power and strength of the supervisor and thus compromise the supervision. “It would also go against previous practices by government when it came to adjustments of salaries of School Heads and Principal Education Officers,” he said.

Matlhogonolo Mokakapadi, who testified for government stated that the applicants did not benefit from salary adjustment effected by LOO because they were not teachers. Mokakapadi however agreed that in the past whenever Government adjusted School Heads salaries, it extended the same to Principal Education Officers.

Initially LOO was not meant to include School Heads, but government resolved to make them beneficiaries when it was implemented therefore creating the anomaly which was the centre of dispute where School Heads had now risen above their supervisors in earnings.  

In delivering judgement, Acting Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang said the decision by Cabinet to extent coverage to school heads cannot be said to have been improper or unlawful nor was it the decision of the court to dictate how government ought to have exercised its executive authority.

“Government is always at liberty to change or vary the contents of its Directive and include beneficiaries that may not have initially been covered by it,” said Judge Kebonang, “But when it does so, it runs the very risk of generating expectation which when not met gives rise to claims of unfairness as has happened in this case.”

Kebonang stated that though Government exercised its discretion to confer a benefit on School Heads, it should then have been mindful of the fact that its action may translate into creating a legitimate expectation for other similarly situated groups. “Measured against past experience, the decision to adjust salaries for School Heads and exclude Principal Education Officers was unreasonable as to unlawful,” he said.

Judge Dr Kebonang ruled that Principal Education Officers II shall be graded above School Heads and be entitled to all the benefits arising from the application of the Cabinet Directive on LOO as communicated by Grace Muzila in her capacity as the then Permanent Secretary of MoESD.

Kebonang also made a ruling that Principal Education Officers I, be graded above Principal Education Officers II and be entitled to all the benefits arising from the application of the same Cabinet Directive on LOO.

Government was instructed to pay the costs of the application and ordered that the ruling on the matters which were before court be put into operation with immediate effect.

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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

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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.

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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). 

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