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MoESD-Unions standoff threatens to disrupt 2015 exams

The public service teachers unions, Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) and the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) have called on teachers to boycott the 2015 school examinations and cease assisting students with course work until the Unions and the employer reaches an agreement on the compensation rate.

The call was made this week as the standoff between teachers and the Ministry of Educations and Skills Development (MoESD) over the compensation negotiation dragged on to the third week.

“Teachers are currently not bound by any existing agreement in this regard and as such they should with immediate effect cease to assist students in course work activities and submit marks for coursework if already done, and invigilate. This condition should remain in existence until this matter of engagement with the Ministry on the 2015 rates is finalised,” the union Secretary Generals, Tobokani Rari and Ibo Kenosi said in a letter they wrote to the teachers.

The letter which was penned this week further invited the teachers to a consultative meeting on this issue which is to be held on Tuesday next week.

“We have since the beginning of this week been inundated with enquiries by the general membership about the 2015 agreement between the Ministry of Education and teachers unions on course work and invigilation rates. The inquiries are geared towards whether teachers should proceed with assisting students with course work and submit marks of the same in the case where the work has already been done and consequently invigilate,” the letter further reads before adding that, “we would like to put it on record for all to note that currently there is no agreement between the teachers  unions and the Ministry of Education on 2015 course work and invigilation rates as the 2014 agreement lapsed at the end of the same year.

This, according to the unions owes to the fact that at a meeting where the 2015 rates were to be discussed the Ministry, especially the current Minister, Unity Dow questioned the legality of the sectoral bargaining structure and made it “abundantly clear,” that they would not proceed with the meeting pending their consultation with the Directorate of Public Service management (DPSM) on the same subject matter.

“It is evident from the conduct of the Ministry that they do not intend to negotiate with unions any more on this matter and by extension would want to renege on the negotiation arrangement that has existed for five years since Phumaphi’s judgment,” the unions expressed their views further.

The 2009 Phumaphi judgment stated that the responsibility of running final examinations in schools belonged to the Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) unless the employer strikes an agreement with teachers, hence the unions were advising teachers that, “’any work done for purpose of soliciting marks for the final examinations is the responsibility of the BEC and is outside the purview of the teacher’s duty unless if there is an existing collective agreement between the unions and the Ministry of Education and the BEC.”

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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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