11 June 2019

Botswana: Council Calls for Comprehensive Report On Matsheng Jss Status

Molepolole — Rural Area Development Programme committee (RADP) has been tasked to make a comprehensive report detailing circumstances of the appalling status of Matsheng Junior Seconday School in Sojwe.

The ongoing Kweneng District Council took the decision following a call by councilors, amongst them Gabane South East councilor, Mr Ofentse Mareme, after getting an explanation from Kweneng Education regional director operations, Mr Benson Rauwe regarding the status of the school. The school is said to be in a dilapidated state.

Following the briefing, the RADP committee led by Kweneng district deputy council chairperson Ms Tshepo Chape-Wareus was assigned to look into how the issue could be addressed.

The decision to task the deputy council chairperson, was prompted by response from the Kweneng regional director's explanation, who had indicated that the department was working towards securing funds for the school maintenance.

The meeting therefore resolved that the situation required overhauling of the facility.

Councillors further revealed that although the school hostel has a carrying capacity of 288, the facility is currently operating with 500 students, almost double the number. Matsheng JSS as Botlhapatlou cllr Lefhoko Kegopotswe indicated was in dire need of immediate and appropriate action, particularly that the facility was operating without electricity and it was crowded.

Councillors had on various occasions complained about the school's appalling state of affair, which led to desertion and decline of academic performance.

Councillor Simon Maroane of Mahetlwe / Ditshukudu wondered why a special dispensation could not be applied to Matsheng and the school assisted under Affirmative Action, considering the appalling situation of the facility.

Absenteeism is said to be rife at the school due to ill health leading to staff being disgruntled with some asking for transfers.

Thamaga North cllr Molatedi Selala felt the decision to have the school renovated was not the best option, looking at the current status of the entire facility.

On the mass hysteria issue raised by Salajwe cllr Lopang Sebutlenyane, Mr Rauwe said the issue required a different approach that would include all stakeholders to deal with the matter once and for all.Cllr Sebutlenyane called for both ministries of basic education and that of health and wellness to find ways of how best the students could be assisted through the engagement of relevant experts.

Mr Rauwe said they were planning to meet the leadership of those affected such as dikgosi to map way forward.

"Let us work towards coming up with solutions on how the issue can best be solved, with the understanding that the matter requires collective approach by stakeholders to come up with solutions to the prevailing situation," asked Mr Rauwe.

The meeting called for officials in the Ministry of Transport and Communications to come and address the council on the status of roads in the district.

Councillors complained that the roads were in a bad state and the department of roads was failing to address the situation despite numerous reports lodged with the office.

Some councilors felt there was need for senior roads officials to provide explanation on the status of the roads because regular the explanation on issues of design that never progress to other stages were common.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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