A meeting between the Minister of Education and skills Development and Botswana Sector of educator’s Trade Union (BOSETU), which was to be held yesterday over the current impasse between Botswana Examination council (BEC) and examiners, did not take place.
The union’s Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, confirmed that, “we are waiting for the call from the minister’s private secretary. We were told the minister is in a meeting and therefore cannot meet us in the morning as previously proposed.”
The union wants the minister, Bagalatia Arone, to intervene in the impasse which has a potential of delaying the release of the 2018 secondary school examination results.
According to Rari, teachers who are engaged by BEC to mark social studies, moral education and agriculture subjects stopped the services this week after BEC decided to tax their meals, transport and accommodation allowances.
“We as well hold a strong view that BEC has varied the terms of the contract that we have signed with them prior to assuming the marking exercise and have departed from the usual norm and practice in relation to remunerations,” BOSETU registered the complaint in a letter to the minister.
The teachers maintained that after tax they are likely to take home about P800 for marking over 200 papers each, meaning they would have rendered their services for free.
“BEC is arrogant and has become a law unto themselves. They do not want to negotiate with trade unions who are employees/ markers representatives. We signed an MOU with them, but they stack to their position when we tried to commence the negotiations. We were differing on this very issue of composite fee which teachers are complaining about,” Rari explained further.
However Arone’s private secretary, Gagoope Adreck, said the Minister has escalated the matter to the office of the president which is currently working up an amicable solution to the problem: “The P.S had to meet with the PSP and an amicable solution is being worked on. By tomorrow (Friday), certainly a solution will have been reached.”