Botswana: Education, Tourism Priority for Aspirants

Maun — Click to see more pictures

Prospective parliamentary candidates for Maun East have raised concern about poor school results in the area and vowed to improve the education sector if elected to Parliament on October 23.

They concurred that it was necessary to make learning and teaching more conducive to attain better results.

The candidates, Mr Goretetse Kekgonegile of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Mr Kostantinos Markus of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) aired their views during a Radio Botswana debate in Maun on Sunday.

Mr Kekgonegile stated that their manifesto prioritised the education sector.

He said there were shortage of schools in the constituency and yet the population had increased, hence the need to vote for UDC to allow him to advocate for more educational infrastructure.

"UDC believes that education is a right to every child and believe that once empowered and educated, they will have decent jobs," he said.

Mr Kekgonegile said UDC manifesto stated that once in power, the party would deliver education that would equip people with skills to drive socio-economic changes.

UDC government, he said, would also ensure teacher student ratio was reduced to 1:25 and teacher aid recruited to identify challenges per each student and strive for better performance.

On the water shortage, Mr Kekgonegile said the Borolong treatment water plant had turned into a white elephant and Batswana continued to suffer since boreholes were also not functioning.

He asked the constituents to vote for him so that his party would revive all the malfunctioning boreholes and ensure that people had access to portable water.

Dominating the debate was also the tourism issue, where Mr Kekgonegile argued that citizens were not benefiting from their wealth of natural resources because the sector was in the hands of foreigners.

For his part, Mr Markus said government was concerned with poor performance of schools but noted that efforts were being made to address the problem.

He said the BDP government intended to reduce class sizes to enable teachers to have a manageable number of pupils and make learning and teaching more effective.

In an effort to increase primary and junior schools, Mr Markus said junior schools would have classes from form 1 up to form 5 and pupils would be taught in their mother tongue.

Regarding shortage of water in the district, Mr Markus admitted that it was a serious challenge but stated that government had put aside P400 million to construct booster pump plant at Kunyere, as an interim solution, adding that a contractor was awarded a tender to the tune of P1.7 billion to undertake the project.

He, however, explained that the matter was still with the courts of law.

Mr Markus said the situation was exacerbated by malfunctioning boreholes, which were damaged by floods in 2012.

He noted that a water treatment plant at Borolong Ward was constructed as a remedial measure while seeking a permanent solution.

The former MP for Maun East said the BDP government had increased citizen participation in the tourism sector, adding that most concessions would be allocated to citizens.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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