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The North West Regional Education Office has acknowledged the challenges faced by teachers in their region which they regret have made the district unbearable for the educators.
“We have a high number of teachers leaving our schools and we keep on receiving temporary and new teachers because of the poor infrastructure complaints from the educators,” Regional Director, Veronica Mochotlhi revealed in an interview.
She added that they have also received transfer requests from teachers who were complaining about the poor infrastructure.
The region is still experiencing shortage of classrooms and staff houses that are dilapidated. This has gone to the extent that students in some schools are still taught under the trees while teachers are sleeping in uncomfortable houses that have become bats habitat.
Mochotlhi acknowledged that the main challenge that is facing the teaching profession in their region is the lack of adequate infrastructure. She said that they have received complaints from teachers that the staff houses are dilapidated and that they have become a habitat for the bats which they complained pose risky health conditions. According to scientific investigations, the bats can carry bacteria and viruses which can be harmful to humans.
She stated that sometimes when teachers get sick they blame it on bats in their staff houses. Mochotlhi said that the teachers have also raised a concern about the deplorable roads leading to schools.
Meanwhile, Mochotlhi has denied the allegations of delay in payments of Remote Area Service Allowance (RASA) for teachers in remote areas as reporetd by BOSETU recently.
She said that they always ensure that the teachers are paid their allowances well in time adding that through the affirmative action on monthly basis they give teachers in remote areas an opportunity to go out and access banks and other services.
BOSETU recently complained that some of the teachers working in remote areas have not been paid their RASA for more than five years something which they said demoralises them.
Meanwhile, Maun West MP, Dumelang Saleshando has also recently in a social media post expressed a concern about the condition of some schools in Maun. Saleshando highlighted that Mathiba Primary School has a capacity to take 660 students but its enrolment in 2022 was over 1,300. He stated that the student’s meals in the school are prepared by five kitchen staff indicating that last year they had six standard six classes that had to share two mathematics text books.
“Botswelelo Primary School has 16 classrooms which have to accommodate 35 classes of learners, leading to students taught out in the open,” he said.
According to Saleshando, Sekgoma Primary School has on pre-primary class which feeds into four standard one classes, meaning that 75% of their standard one student doesn’t have the opportunity to attend reception classes. “Boyei Primary School has 50 tablets safely locked away because there is no IT literate teacher,’ said Saleshando.”