Botswana: MP Commends Schools for Compliance to Protocols

Maun — Member of Parliament for Maun East, Mr Goretetse Kekgonegile has commended schools in his constituency for complying with COVID-19 protocols.

He was touring some of the schools to appreciate their compliance to COVID-19 guidelines and was impressed by some measures put in place to curb the possible spread of coronavirus.

He visited Maun Technical College (MCT) and Maun Senior Secondary School where the schools' management reported that they were working towards being compliant.

Mr Kekgonegile was impressed to learn that both schools inducted learners on COVID-19 protocol, prevention strategies and to encourage them to adapt to the new normal.

The MP said he was more interested on what schools had done to observe social distancing in classrooms, reduce congestion at gates, cleanliness of facilities, how they dealt with issues of book sharing and other issues related to COVID-19 guidelines.

Since Maun senior school has a special unit, Mr Kekgonegile wanted to know how the learners and teachers were coping as some used sign language.

Concerning cleanliness of both institutions, Mr Kekgonegile was informed that the council had deployed Ipelegeng workers to assist with the cleaning.

MCT Principal, Ms Toyi Mukani told MP and his entourage that efforts were ongoing to ensure 100 per cent compliance, adding that currently they were guided by the checklist from the ministry of Health and Wellness.

She said they had managed to install hand washing basins and ensured provision of hot water at the main gate, made markings in classrooms, workshops and other shared areas.

She noted that they sanitised text books and sharing places such as libraries, workshops in intervals. But she stated that social distancing was still a challenge to learners.

Ms Mukani also said maintenance of school facilities was ongoing and hoped that painting would be completed by end of August this year.

She also revealed that the college would not admit new learners next year as the school had already covered slots for first and second years except for new programmes. In some programmes, she said they would admit new learners after three years.

MTC, had previously experienced challenges such as students overcrowding, unaccredited courses, poor performance and student allowance disparity and it was reported that some students spent six months without attending classes because the courses they had applied for were not offered at the college.

But, Ms Mukani explained that the issues had been taken care of through the intervention by Botswana Qualification Authority which advised the school to implement Learner Protection Policy.

The policy is meant to protect tertiary level learners and their sponsors such as in case where institutions or courses are not accredited.

The principal also decried vandalism of the college fence and theft in their campus situated along the Thamalakane River.

At Maun School, the MP was informed that part of their subvention was channeled towards the implementation COVID-19 initiatives such as installation of 16 hand washing basins across the school, maintenance of some ablutions, procurement of thermometers.

The school was reported to have procured 10 thermometers of which four were not working and efforts had been made to observe social distancing in classes and at the gate.

The school head, Ms Lekala Legwaila noted that MCT board of governors also supported them with P50 000 to install the hand washing basins at the two school entrances and also to provide a geysers for hot water.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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