Mogoditshane — Ministry of Basic Education deputy director, Mr Simon Coles has announced that Botswana is ranked four out of 16 countries in the Southern Eastern African countries in numeracy and literacy for primary schools.
A Southern and East Africa Consortium for monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) survey released last week has placed Botswana on fourth position.
Speaking during a Holy Cross Chiro shoe donation event to primary schools in Mogoditshane, the deputy director emphasised that the SACMEQ survey results demonstrated that as a country, "we are producing quality education at primary school level."
The Holy Cross Chiro is a Catholic church youth based movement.
Mr Coles refuted reports that Primary School Leaving Examinations results (PSLE) were declining saying that in fact, the results had been improving in the past few years.
He further pointed out that as government went into NDP 11, the country was embarking on a journey which transformed it from a mineral based economy to a knowledge based economy, "where we rely on the knowledge and the skills of our people to generate the income to drive the development of this country for the next 50 years."
Furthermore, he stated that access not only to education but quality education as it was espoused in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly goal number four which talked about children having quality education, was attainable as the PSLE results continued to improve year after year.
He noted that as a department, they would continue to build on various initiatives in support of quality education citing that to date, over 400 primary schools now offered pre-school education for free to improve children's readiness for primary school.
He said moving forward, the department would build upon the initiative and many others.
Meanwhile, Mr Coles applauded Holy Cross Chiro for their noble gesture, stressing that the leadership of the country taught the nation to give and understand the value of giving.
He said some children were not attending school because of simple things like not having shoes. He also said it was upon communities to bridge the gap.
Giving words of encouragement, Bishop Emeritus Tshosa Setlalekgosi encouraged members of the Chiro to not only read the scripture but also be the doers of the word.
He encouraged them to evangelise to other youth and bring them closer to God.
Chiro chairperson, Mr Duncan Motlhokodise explained that the project came about after realising that there were school children without shoes but were not covered by government programmes which cater for the less fortunate members of society.
He said the donation was meant to restore their dignity and self-worth of such children.
This he said was achieved after members organised an arobathon to raise funds to assist five primary schools in Mogoditshane being, Mogoditshane, Nkoyaphiri, Lesirane, Moamogwe and Solomon Dihutso Primary schools.
About 125 pairs of school shoes were donated and are to be shared equally among the five schools.
Source : BOPA