Acting Education and Skills Development Minister Mokgweetsi Masisi, has promised to “prioritise the budget” so that it caters for challenges facing primary schools.
He told the National Primary School Heads Conference this week that at P7.93 billion, the ministry’s reurrent budget is the highest in the 2013/14 ﬁnancial year. Te budget catered for among others, additional funds required to implement the regrading exercise for teachers approved by government in 2013, as well as subventions to some parastatals such as University of Botswana and Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST).
Despite that Masisi received a thunderous applause from over 700 primary school head teachers when he promised to quiclky attend to the myriad of problems facing schools such as dilapidated infrastructure, shortage of staﬀ, electricity, water, cooking pots and the undesired teacher-student ratio. “Please do not be deterred by these challenges as my team and I are working around the clock to address these,” he said adding that they understand the frustrations of school heads caused by constraints in schools.
“This is a mission I was assigned to by the President and I will do all I can to ensure that it is attained.” Despite having parallel desires over the budget allocation that was proposed by Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Masisi referred to her as the second most senior minister within the cabinet. He said Venson-Moitoi loves her new job as the special coordinator of the newly Draﬅed Education and Training Strategic Sector plan (ETSSP). On infrastructure renovations and development, he said they are undertaken by an ongoing exercise of “improvements in the education sector,” led by vice president and a committee of cabinet ministers of which he is a member.
He said the education sector will increasingly come under the microscope to unpack, repackage, reorientate, rejuvenate and accelerate qualitative improvements to yield a happy, dedicated, achieving and competitive learner and teacher of Botswana. In the quest to change the poor performance recorded by schools, Masisi promised to ensure that no headmaster practises without a degree qualiﬁcation. Tis, he said, would help to achieve the target average of 80 percent A-C pass rate for all public schools and ensure that schools are operated and run by well informed and dedicated teams led by professional and competent school heads.