Botswana: Rural Schools Need Special Attention

Tonota — Lack of access to research materials has been identified as a major challenge for rural schools which accounts for poor performance in non-urban areas.

"The nation decries a decline in the passing mark in schools mostly found in rural areas against those in the cities. We should question that trend because the teachers carry the same level of qualifications," says Ms Lindiwe Mogale of Mogale Legal Practice.

She was speaking at the handing over of a P150 000 porta cabin debate library donated by the firm to Rutwang Junior Secondary School in Tonota recently.

The solution, she said, lay in giving support and motivation to schools in rural areas.

Ms Mogale stressed the need for the private sector to contribute to Botswana's development, especially in the education sector in rural areas.

She also emphasised the importance of nurturing talent in the sector explaining that education was the key to the future.

"It is against this backdrop that Mogale Legal Practice adopted this school and the firm is proud that the results are beginning to improve," said Ms Mogale.

The cabin, which would be used by the school's debate team, comes ahead of the team's participation at this year's Oratory Africa debate and public speaking championships to be held in Namibia December 11-16.

Other local junior secondary schools, Sefhare, Makalamabedi and Setlalekgosi, will also participate in the competition.

The cabin comes along with research materials and is spacious enough to accommodate computers.

Ms Mogale said the company decided to adopt the school as part of its corporate social responsibility.

She said the donation would assist the debate team to stay at the top of their game as it continued to compete at international level.

"There is a lot to accomplish when you work as a team and our contribution to the school debate team is to help it excel and bring medals home," she said.

The legal practitioner noted that nations across the globe were now moving away from purely academic careers to things like sports.

Giving a keynote address on behalf of Ministry of Basic Education permanent secretary, regional operations-central region director Mr Sonny Mooketsi explained that the Ministry of Basic Education was encouraging individuals and companies to assist government by at least adopting a school.

He pointed out that Mogale Legal Practice sponsorship commenced in 2014 with the purchasing of a debating kit which he described as an enormous and selflessness contribution towards the children's education.

"This demonstrates selflessness dedication towards the education sector of this country," he said adding that "Botswana is where she is because of the partnership it has with other developing partners especially the private sector".

The school head, Mr Kwenakgolo Tokwe expressed gratitude to the firm for choosing the school among those with similar challenges.

He said the cabin would strengthen the partnership between the firm and the school and expressed the hope that the marriage would continue forever.

He urged other companies to emulate the law firm and play a parental role in the education sector.

Mr Tokwe said pupils should be shown from different angles that efforts were being made to groom them for managing the world properly.

He also said he was hopeful the debating team would associate itself with outstanding results and apply its best minds in order to bring medals as usual.

The nine-member has as its main debaters, Ernest Masipeto, Florence Pillar, Thando Ramonna, Kgalemo Lekgoane, Bokandy Ndlovu and Calvin Moalosi.

They are under the tutelage of Mr Masedi Molefhi, who doubles up as an agriculture teacher.

Source : BOPA

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