Connect with us

P6 billion budget to cater for absorption of 3500 temporary teachers

Minister of Basic Education Fidelis Molao has revealed before parliament this week how his portion of the 2022/23 national budget will be split. The lawmaking house has approved the proposal.

The Ministry of Basic Education was allocated budget of 10.8 billion, with a slight increase of at least 0.47 percent of the 2021/22 budget; recurrent budget getting 91.3 percent of the whole budget which is P7.9 billion, while the development budget stands at 8.7 percent-an amount of P937 million.This was revealed during his Ministrys committee of supply speech.

As it stands, the largest portion (80.5 percent) of the recurrent budget is allocated to Personal Emoluments or wages, while 2.1 percent of the recurrent budget will go to subventions and parastatal. 17.5 percent is intended to run the operational costs of the Ministry, department, regional offices, schools, the welfare of the students including their feeding, procurement of their textbooks and payment of utilities.

The ministrys headquarters goes away with P996 million, of which 63.9 percent will be for staff salaries while 20.2 percent will cater for the operations of Botswana Examinations Council. The remaining 15.9 is scheduled for other operational costs of the department.

Out of School Education and Training is apportioned P73 million, a notable decline of 14.9 percent vis a vis the previous years budget of P 86 million, accounting to the fact that the departments budget for textbooks, food rations and hostels charges amounting to P13 million was transferred to department of Secondary Education. All this done to enhance service delivery in regions.

An amount of P23 million is apportioned for Curriculum Development and Evaluation. This connotes a decrease of 2.5 percent compared to the P24 million of last years budget.

Department of Teaching Services Management will receive P6 billion, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to one of last year. 99.2 percent of this portion will be for payments of teachers salaries and allowances. An increase that is attributable to the posts that the department was awarded, to convert 1 701 temporary teachers to permanent and pensionable teachers.

The intentions of the Ministry to absorb an additional 3500 temporary teachers, has seen the Department of Secondary Education stands on the brighter room of the house with an increase of 8. 3 percent of their previous budget.This translates to P1.9 billion.

Maintenance of school buildings, service charges, student textbooks, stationery, school feeding program will as well benefit from this portion.

A sum P36 million is set aside for the Department of Pre-Primary and Primary Education. This is 0.4 percent of the recurrent budget. 2022/23 financial year will find and number of mission under this department completed from the previous budget. This confirms the reason for the reduction in the budgets of these departments, from a P103 million of last year to P66 million this year.

Information Communication Technology and Media is apportioned a P17 million, connoting a slight decline of 4.7 percent vis a vis the previous year.On the other hand, the Department of Special Support Services will go away with a sum of P20 million, a 0.2 percent of the ministrys recurrent budget and a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to that of last year.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi, has made proclamations of transforming into a Knowledge-Based Economy, an economy that is driven by skills, research, science and technology in essence. Despite the commitment, the key driving department, a chief cornerstone, on this voyage is set to receive 0.1 percent of the ministrys recurrent budget. This translates to a sum of P11 million, noting a decrease of 2.7 percent from that of last year.

The development budget of this Ministry is set to run a number of projects namely Computerization, Consultancy Projects, Special Education Facilities, BEC transformation projectto mention but a few.

The desire to enhance teaching and learning through the use of technology an e-learning is the resultant vector of the Computerizaton project. This project will as such receive a total of P353 million, requested, for the completion of ongoing procurement of computer equipment for at least 182 Junior Secondary Schools. This budget will as well ensure the continuity of Schools Digitization Project. From this amount, P1 million is specifically for the Education Management Information System (EMIS).

The ministry has, under its development budget, categorized a number of projects as Consultation Projects. This includes in among them Psychometric Tests, Evaluation of Secondary School Curriculum and other ETSSP activities, Development of Special Education Policy, Learners Profiling and GECAF Implementation.

Psychometric Tests, funds are requested for procurement of a droll out of psychometric tests at national level. This procurement that is said to have taken longer than expected will now spill into 2022/23 financial year.

Evaluation of Secondary School Curriculum and other ETSSP activities will receive a sum of P10 million. Albeit the review of the Senior Secondary School Curriculum is completed, the bulk of the requested funds is to cover the capacity building to retool teachers for delivery of the new curriculum.

The ongoing development of theSpecial Education Policy is expected during the financial year of 2022/23. The requested funds of P300 000 are for final activities of this project as printing, capacity building and stakeholder engagements.

On the other side of the coin, a total of P3 million will be set for Learner Profiling. An exercise that paves the way for implementation of Outcome-Based Education. This critical to placement of learners in an educational path relevant to their capabilities.

A leading guide framework for the transformation of the national education landscape in the country, General Education Curriculum and Assessment Framework (GECAF) will receive a sum of P9 million. While Refurbishment of Curriculum Development and Evaluation Building will receive an amount of P10 million.

Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) Transformation Project will be apportioned a P20 million. The project is ongoing and main activities of it are facilities expansion, fleet acquisition and establishment of an integrated information system and replacement of obsolete ICT infrastructure.

A number of projects budding from Secondary Education were as well alluded to. The Electrification of Primary Schools that are outside the power grid will have a P5 million. This project is one of those planned for the NDP 11. The beneficiary villages will include in among them Sankoyo, Lepashe, Khwee, Losilakgpkong to name but a few.

Moeng College that bears one of the ETSSP pilot project will receive a sum of P24 million for its Multiple Pathway Project. This will assist the continuation of infrastructure development to enable a successful delivery of Multiple Pathway Curriculum. Whereas Mahupu Unified School will receive a sum of P1 million for closing of its final accounts.


ENVIRONMENT ISSUES: Masisi asks Virginia for help

24th March 2023

President Mokgweetsi Masisi says the issue of sustainable natural resources management has always been an important part of Botswana’s national development agenda.

Masisi was speaking this week on the occasion of a public lecture at Virginia Polytechnic, under theme, “Merging Conservation, Democracy and Sustainable Development in Botswana.”

Botswana, according to Masisi, holds the view that the environment is fragile and as such, must be managed and given the utmost protection to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“It is necessary that we engage one another in the interchange of ideas, perspectives, visualizations of social futures, and considerations of possible strategies and courses of action for sustainable development,” said Masisi.

On the other hand, dialogue, in the form of rigorous democratic discourse among stakeholders presents another basis for reconfiguring how people act on their environments, with a view to conserving its resources that “we require to meet our socio-economic development needs on a sustainable basis,” Masisi told attendees at the public lecture.

He said government has a keen interest in understanding the epidemiology and ecology of diseases of both domestic and wild animals. “It is our national interest to forestall the dire consequences of animal diseases on our communities livelihoods.”

President Masisi hoped that both Botswana and Virginia could help each other in curbing contagious diseases of wildlife.

“We believe that Virginia Tech can reasonably share their experiences, research insights and advances in veterinary sciences and medicines, to help us build capacity for knowledge creation and improve efforts of managing and containing contagious diseases of wildlife. The ground is fertile for entering into such a mutually beneficial partnership.”

When explaining environmental issues further, Masisi said efforts of conservation and sustainable development might at times be hampered by the emergence and recurrence of diseases when pathogens mutate and take host of more than one species.

“Water pollution also kills aquatic life, such as fish, which is one of humanity’s much deserved sources of food. In this regard, One Health Approach imposes ecological responsibility upon all of us to care for the environment and the bio-diversity therein.”

He said the production and use of animal vaccines is an important space and tool for conservation, particularly to deal with trans-border animal diseases.

“In Botswana, our 43-year-old national premier pharmaceutical institution called Botswana Vaccine Institute has played its role well. Through its successful production of highly efficacious Foot and Mouth vaccines, the country is able to contain this disease as well as supply vaccines to other countries in the sub-region.:

He has however declared that there is need for more help, saying “We need more capacitation to deal with and contain other types of microbial that affect both animals and human health.”

Continue Reading


Masisi saddened by deaths of elephant attacks

24th March 2023

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has expressed a strong worry over elephants killing people in Botswana. When speaking in Virginia this week, Masisi said it is unfortunate that Batswana have paid a price with their own blood through being attacked by elephants.

“Communities also suffer unimaginable economic losses yearly when their crops are eaten by the elephants. In spite of such incidents of human-elephant conflict, our people embrace living together with the animals. They fully understand wildlife conservation and its economic benefits in tourism.”

In 2018, Nthobogang Samokwase’s father was attacked by an elephant when travelling from the fields, where he stayed during the cropping season.

It was reported that the man couldn’t run because of his age. He was found trampled by the elephant and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

In the same year, in Maun, a 57-year-old British woman was attacked by an elephant at Boro and died upon arrival at the hospital. The woman was with her Motswana partner, and were walking dogs in the evening.

Last month, a Durban woman named Carly Marshall survived an elephant attack while on holiday in the bush in Botswana. She was stabbed by one of the elephant’s tucks through the chest and was left with bruises. Marshall also suffered several fractured ribs from the ordeal.

President Masisi Botswana has the largest population of African elephants in the world, totaling more than 130 000. “This has been possible due to progressive conservation policies, partnerships with the communities, and investment in wildlife management programmes.”

In order to benefit further from wildlife, Masisi indicated that government has re-introduced controlled hunting in 2019 after a four-year pause. “The re-introduction of hunting was done in an open, transparent and democratic way, giving the communities an opportunity to air their views. The funds from the sale of hunting quota goes towards community development and elephant conservation.”

He stressed that for conservation to succeed, the local people must be involved and derive benefits from the natural resources within their localities.

“There must be open and transparent consultations which involve all sectors of the society. It is against this backdrop that as a country, we lead the continent on merging conservation, democracy and sustainable development.”

Masisi stated that Botswana is open to collaborative opportunities, “particularly with identifiable partners such as Virginia Tech, in other essential areas such as conservation, and the study of the interplay among the ecology of diseases of wild animals and plants, and their effects on human health and socio-economic development.”

Continue Reading


Gov’t commit to injecting more funds in fighting HIV

24th March 2023

Minister for State President Kabo Morwaeng says government will continue to make resources available in terms of financial allocations and human capital to ensure that Botswana achieves the ideal of eradicating HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Morwaeng was speaking this morning in Gaborone at the High-Level Advocacy event to accelerate HIV Prevention in Botswana. He said the National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAPHA), in partnership with UNAIDS, UN agencies, the Global Fund and PEPFAR, have started a process of developing transition readiness plan for sustainability of HIV prevention and treatment programmes.

“It is important for us, as a country that has had a fair share of donor support in the response to an epidemic such as HIV and AIDS, to look beyond the period when the level of assistance would have reduced, or ceased, thus calling for domestic financing for all areas which were on donor support.”

Morwaeng said this is important as the such a plan will guarantee that all the gains accrued from the response with donor support will be sustained until the end when “we reach the elimination of HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 20230,” he said.

“I commit to continue support efforts towards strengthened HIV prevention, accentuating HIV primary prevention and treatment as prevention towards Zero New Infections, Zero Stigma, Discrimination and Zero AIDS related death, to end AIDS in Botswana.”

He reiterated that government commits to tackle legislative, policy and programming challenges that act as barriers to the achievement of the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat.

In the financial year 2022/2023, a total of 119 Civil Society Organizations, including Faith Based Organizations, were contracted with an amount of P100 million to implement HIV and NCDs prevention activities throughout the country, and the money was drawn from the Consolidated Fund.

Through an upcoming HIV Prevention Symposium, technical stakeholders will use outcomes to develop the Botswana HIV Prevention Acceleration Road Map for 2023-2025.

Morwaeng stated that government will support and ensure that Botswana plays its part achieving the road map. He said there is need to put hands on the deck to ensure that Botswana sustains progress made so far in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“There are tremendous achievements thus far to, reach and surpass the UNAIDS fast track targets of 95%- 95%- 95% by the year 2025. As reflected by the BAIS preliminary results of 2021, we now stand at 95- 98- 98 against the set targets.”

“These achievements challenge us to now shift our gears and strive to know who are the remaining 5% for those aware of their HIV status, 2% of enrolment on treatment by those aware of their status and 2% of viral suppression by those on treatment.”

Explaining this further, Morwaeng said shift in gears should extend to coming up with robust strategies of determining where these remaining people are as well as how they will be reached with the necessary services.

“These are just some of the many variables that are required to ensure that as a country, we are well positioned to reaching the last mile of our country’s response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic.”

Continue Reading