Thursday, February 7, 2013

Khama bemoans Botswana’s pitiful school results

By MTOKOZISI DUBE NATION Correspondent

Gaborone, Thursday
 Botswana’s president Ian Khama has bemoaned his country’s pathetic school results.

Botswana registered arguably the worst results in its history from last year’s results.

While the southern African country was still reeling from shock due to the disastrous and devastating nature of the 2012 Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE), the Junior Certificate Examinations (JCE) results were even more catastrophic.

President Khama subsequently registered his dissatisfaction with the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi saying he had hoped that the results would be better.

Ms Venson-Moitoi confirmed “the president has expressed disappointment because he had hoped that results will have improved by now.”

Botswana was rocked by a series of teacher-ministry squabbles in the past year, setbacks that came after the 2011 ‘Mother of all strikes’ that went on for a record three months.

Mr Khama himself met the teachers last year to hear out their grievances following long-drawn battles between the educators and ministry over their welfare.

The Botswana leader summoned the education minister following a persistent barrage of public criticism that she has once again mishandled her ministerial portfolio and should resign.

Following the meeting, she said: “He (the president) hopes the current initiatives put in place will go a long way in improving the results.

He also assured us of his maximum support in any effort that is aimed at improving the results.”

Ms Venson-Moitoi said she was not about to throw in the towel despite calls for her resignation from various quarters of the nation.

“I personally do not believe in ‘taking flight’ when confronted with challenges’’, she said.

I hold the view that challenges must be faced and dealt with. I will therefore not resign to show people that there are problems,” she said.

She is optimistic that the results from 2013 going forward will be positive.

Of the 38 385 candidates who sat for JC exams in 2012, only 5 317 performed well while 33 061 were either borderline or failed dismally. 

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