The Minister of Education and Skills Development Dr Unity Dow
The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has finally gotten a nod to implement the Education and Training Strategic Sector Plan (ETSSP) from cabinet. The ETSSP will be implemented over a period of five years.
The strategy, which has been branded “The Education Strategy 2020”, was established following the findings of the 2012 situation analysis carried out by the ministry to diagnose deficiencies in the education sector.
The Minister of Education and Skills Development Dr Unity Dow told a press briefing this week that between 2012 and 2015, MoESD developed a comprehensive Education and Training Sector Plan which is aligned to NDP10 and the emerging educational sector priorities.
“ETSSP is a five year medium term strategy 2015 to 2020 designed to comprehensively and fundamentally transform education from pre-primary to tertiary level,” she stated.
The Ministry of Education has placed emphasis on; low academic performance at all levels, access and equity to education by all, quality and relevance of education, the alignment of curriculum to the industry needs, educational management, skills development for the economy, lifelong learning, multiple pathways at Senior Secondary level, and professional development, in an effort to turnaround the fortune of the country’s education system.
MoESD have also stated that the new strategy has also been aligned to vision 2016, Human Resource Development Strategy 2009-2022, Botswana Excellence Strategy, Revised National Policy in Education (1994), Inclusive Education policy (2012) and Revised National Policy on Vocational Education and Training (1997).
The aim of the strategy is also to ensure that Botswana’s education sector provide quality, relevant and sustainable lifelong education which is globally competitive, so as to transform Botswana from a resource based to a skill and knowledge based society.
With the implementation of the strategy commencing, it is expected that after a five year period, MoESD would have made significant strides, including universal completion of basic quality education for all, equity of provision and opportunity for all learners and enhanced skill development for economy.
The Ministry will also expect progress in transformed quality service delivery in the education sector, enhanced information management for quality decision making, and enhanced educational governance.
MoESD has partnered with European Union and UNICEF for technical support. GIZ and Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) will offer skills development support while World Banks will assist the ministry with skills development research.
The Ministry has stated that in preparation for implementation it is developing a comprehensive Implementation plan with milestones Key Performance Indicators and Results matrix. The Ministry will also develop a Risk Management Strategy and re-organize its regions for greater focus on ETSSP implementation, thus capacity building for change management.
As part of preparation for implementation of the strategy, the ministry will be identifying immediate key polices and strategic frameworks needed and will also identify priority programs to run immediately.
The MoESD has been faced with challenges in recent years which have led to debilitating declining examination results at all levels. The ministry has also been blamed for producing graduates who are not necessarily needed by the industry, leading to skills mismatch. The new strategy is expected will address some of the challenges in that regard.
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.
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.
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.