- Say teachers delegate TSPs to their posts and go shopping
- Regional director says the North East has the best results
Francistown’s primary school teachers have been accused of neglecting their duties by assigning Tirelo Sechaba Participants (TSPs) to teach in their place.
Angry parents who spoke to Global Post on condition of anonymity said some teachers had practically stopped teaching since the arrival of TSPs.
“But Tirelo Sechaba Participants are not qualified teachers, and I wonder what they teach our children since most of them did not do well academically,” said one disgruntled parent.
She added that some of the teachers did their shopping during time for lessons, leaving TSPs at their posts. Another parent alleged that in the absence of definitive teachers, TSPs were meting out excessive corporal punishment on pupils.
Contacted for copmment, the Director of Education in the North East Region, Mabunga Gadibolae, said he was not aware of such a situation. What he knew was that where there was a shortage of teachers, temporary teachers were engaged to remedy the situation, he added.
“I am always on the ground to monitor the performance of the schools in my region and I have never received a report about such incidents,” Gadibolae averred.
He emphasised that because teaching was a specialised profession, TSPs could not be co-opted to teach. TSPs may only be assigned to mark pupils’ work and only under the guidance of qualified teachers.
Gadibolae noted that schools in his region were doing well, hence the region had scooped position 1 nationally in the Primary School Leaving Examinations. “I have four schools that attained a 100% pass rate last year, which is quiet commendable,” he noted.
Most schools in the North East Region usually attained between 80% and 70% pass rates while one school occasionally attained 57%.
For long years now, the government and teachers’ trade unions have engaged in bitter confrontations over the welfare of teachers. Trade union leaders continue to argue that teachers’ welfare issues are not addressed and that this results in demoralising teachers.
One of the burning issues currently is that of the number of pupils and students per class; trade union leaders say the numbers are excessive in many instances and should be reduced to permit effective teaching.