The North West Regional Education office is reported to be receiving hundreds of transfer requests from teachers from different schools within the region. Teachers in the Ngamiland District recently declared their intentions to abandon the district owing to poor working conditions.
At a recent Botswana Sectors of Educators and Trainers Union (BOSETU) meeting addressed by Member of Parliament for Maun West, Tawana Moremi teachers expressed concerns about the Ngamiland region. As parliament is set to start on 2nd of February, the Maun West MP has been engaging various stakeholders including unions and the informal sector to gather concerns and updates so he could share with parliament.
Teachers complained that the Ministry of Education and Skills Development has abandoned teachers based in the Ngamiland district. They indicated that when senior officials, including the Minister, are in the region they never create time to meet teachers to hear their concerns. They said officials only meet with the top brass of the region – who were labelled as ineffective hence the district continues to perform badly in the national examinations.
Also caught in the cross fire was the Director of the North West Educational Region, Acro News Maseko who was criticized for alleged mal-administration. Teachers called for an urgent removal from office of the director.
Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) secretary general, Ibo Kenosi supported the call to remove the Director. He blamed the director for the poor conditions teachers in the region are exposed to. Kenosi gave the example of poor accommodation of teachers. The BTU secretary general said the problems experienced in Ngamiland are a result of poor administration by the regional office and the government is not to blame.
Kenosi observed that Ngamiland will remain the worst performing region if the Ministry of Education and Skills Development does not urgently consider the removal of the director from office.
Teachers from within the district complained that the director has failed to address the many issues they have tabled before him over time. They labeled the director as an ignorant person who never takes urgent matters seriously.
The Ngamiland educators warned that they can no longer tolerate the mal-administration. Some shared that despite the Ministry’s policy which explains that a teacher can apply for transfer only after a period of five years stay in a school, they requests have been ignored despite completing five years stay at the district. Some have decided to forward their applications for transfers to headmasters. They explained that if their transfers are not successful they will be forced to leave the teaching profession. Some have already been rejected on the grounds that the Ministry has temporarily suspended transfers.
Ngamiland teachers complain that the Ministry decided to freeze transfers only after realizing that teachers are leaving Ngamiland in large numbers.
Both BOSETU and BTU believe that both the education system and teacher’s welfare in Ngamiland are neglected.
Accommodation of teachers is said to be a perennial problem in Ngamiland. In addition, Ngamiland has also realized a growth in population growing and this has led to a sharp increase in the number of students enrolling in schools.
Teachers complain that these development variables are not being considered by the Ministry of Education because there are only a few schools to accommodate these students. Teachers observe that this has led to an imbalance in student/teacher ratio. According to Ngamiland teachers, they are forced to teach classes of about 40 to 50 students.
BOSETU and BTU also expressed disappointment that the Ministry of Education and Skills Development has abandoned special education learners in Ngamiland. They indicated that despite Maun Senior School enrolling special education students (deaf), it has been 10 years since the school was supplied with proper specialized teaching equipment for the students.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.