The Minister of Basic Education- Mr. Fedilis Mmilili Molao says that learning should continue despite the risks posed by Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. He said this today during Parliament proceedings when presenting the BGCSE results before the national assembly. Molao says it is important for learning to continue because education is a fundamental human right.
Of recent there has been numerous reports of COVID-19 prevalence in schools where some schools recorded well over hundreds of students testing positive for the virus. Not only was it learners affected, the support staff, and teachers also were reported to have contracted the virus. Recently, the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) had reported that five (5) teachers lost their lives due to COVID-19.
As a solution to arresting the spread of the virus, the Educators Trade Unions- Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) and BOSETU had urged the Ministry of Basic Education to close the schools for at least two weeks to cater for fumigation of schools and other measures, but the ministry turned that down. Commenting on the COVID-19 Minister Molao had this to say;
“I wish to take this moment to remember and honour teachers and support staff in our schools whose lives have been lost due to COVID-19. May their souls rest in peace. We will continue the good work that they were so much committed to, of providing quality education to prepare a better future for our children. Their lives should not go in vain.”
One would have thought the minister will articulate their plans and their measures as the ministry and the government in order to fight the spread of the virus in schools, which are prone to the fast spread of COVID-19. For his side, all the minister could say regarding the rise of cases in schools is that teachers need from the nation “love, warmth and encouragement for them to continue to tender to children under these difficult conditions.”
Meanwhile, the newly admitted Form 4 students are expected to report to their respective senior secondary schools on the 15th and the 16th this month. This will increase crowding in senior schools. We can only pray for the situation not to get out of hand in schools.