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 Ministry’s 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 ministry’s 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 year’s budget of P 86 million, accounting to the fact that the department’s 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 year’s 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 ministry’s 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 ministry’s 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 project to 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 the Special 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.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.