Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) has appealed to educators to say no to teaching loads exceeding period allocation; further urging government to prioritise quality education by hiring more teachers.
BOSETU spokesperson, Oreeditse Nyatso disclosed that this is a dark period in the teaching fraternity; that the Ministry of education and Skills Development wants to increase teacher workload beyond the confinement of the Establishment Register (ER). He revealed that; “On 15th December 2021, MoBE wrote a Savingram titled ‘Timetabling Considerations and Staffing Levels for all Schools.’ At a meeting between BOSETU and MoBE on 10th February 2022, MoBE indicated that their Savingram was misunderstood and as such there are no intentions of pushing teachers to work beyond the confines on the ER.”
Nyatso went on that; “we have seen contrary actions from regions across the country where teachers are being forced to take loads beyond the parameters of the ER. We have requested a meeting with Permanent Secretary Maroba to bring this issue to finality, and their office keeps on postponing. We are now calling upon every educator to refuse extra loads imposed upon them. No one should go beyond maximum.”
The ER for secondary schools of 2009/10 description note reads; “The Department of Teaching Service Management has started the process of implementing the circular savingram. REF: SE 4/2/9 I (88) dated 1 February 2005. The savingram forwarded to the schools the approved revised Teaching Loads by the Policy Advisory Committee. Timetable: The 6 day timetable shall be followed by both Junior and Senior Secondary Schools whether Government or Government Aided. This is for the purposes of uniformity, flexibility and ease of monitoring staffing situation as it eliminates some of the concerns raised with 5 and 7-day timetables.”
Since the onset of Covid 19 a single lesson lasted 30minutes from the initial 40 minutes. However; the burden of teaching lies upon the assistant and senior teacher II. Period Allocation is such that; Assistant Teacher to Senior Teacher II are allocated Full Classes made of 5 Classes which tallies to 24 periods being the minimum and 6 classes (29 periods) the maximum. School Head, Deputy School Head and Head of Department have no allocated hours but they may teach.
The document continues; “Trained Guidance and counselling teachers should only be allocated periods for Guidance lessons unless they cannot meet the required minimum periods. Senior Teacher I Guidance and Counselling has been exempted from teaching other subjects.” For Special Education teachers who also have a teaching subject, consideration is made to reduce their teaching loads by 1 class in order to allow them time to assist other subject teachers as well as to give support to learners with special needs.
Senior Teacher Grade 1 Staff Development, Library, Special Education and coordinators of HIV/AIDS programs also have the same arrangement to allow them to co-ordinate and manage their respective programs. Schools that have students with special needs will continue to be handled differently. In case of schools that cater for students with visual impairment the ratio 1:4 will apply, that is 1 visually impaired student is equivalent to a total of 4 mainstream students. A class of visually impaired ranges from 4-10 students. For the hearing impaired a class is considered to be between 6-10 students. Earlier this year in February; BOSETU appealed to teachers to refuse to take more work following the decision by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development to terminate contracts of temporary teachers. The process affected thousands of teachers. The ministry however detailed that they will be hiring temporary teachers and renewing contracts on a need-to basis.
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.