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Class subdivision necessitates hiring of extra teachers

Ministry of Basic Education has embarked on an exercise to hire more teachers as a way of addressing overcrowding in classrooms in line with COVID – 19 protocols.

In an interview with BOPA recently, the ministry’s acting chief public relations officer, Mr Oarabile Phefo said there was significant progress in relation to the recruitment of additional teachers.

Recruitment in a few areas  should be completed within a week, he said.

Mr Phefo said the ministry met with Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) and Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) to discuss how best to address the issue.

He said it had been  agreed that class sizes would be determined by social distancing of one meter apart as well as classroom capacity.

A cohort would be divided by 30 pupils to determine additional classes that might be needed, he said.

For secondary schools, the determining factor for additional teachers would be current workload for existing staff to ensure optimal engagement, said Mr Phefo.

He said in order to optimise engagement, every teacher was expected to have contact time with learners for a minimum of four hours and a maximum of 5hrs 30 minutes a day.

The remaining hours would be for pedagogical support, he explained.

For his part, BOSETU  secretary general, Mr Tobokani Rari said the agreement should apply to both primary and secondary schools noting that the ministry had  prior  to COVID – 19 protocols indicated some teachers were not optimally utilised.

Mr Rari pointed out that the Establishment Register set 32 hours a week as the maximum for a teacher but some teachers  worked up to  66 hours a week, which meant they would not be able to effectively carry out their duties. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Modiakgotla

Location : Gaborone

Event : Thato Modiakgotla

Date : Jun 29 Mon,2020

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