BTU condemns suspension of Matsha headmaster

27th November 2015


By Nicholas Mokwena - Reporter

Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) has condemned the Ministry of Education and Skills Development for suspending the Head teacher of Matsha College Phodiso Phori. Phori was suspended following a road accident that claimed the lives of seven female students and injuring many more on the 13th of November 2015 near Dutlwe village.

The students were travelling from the school to their respective villages in the Kweneng District after completing their Form 5 exams when the cattle truck they were travelling in overturned. BTU Publicity Secretary, Tidimalo Maeletso told this publication that they are surprised by the stance taken by government in the midst of the Matsha tragedy.

“It is a shame for the government to have taken such a decision at the time when students needed their head teacher the most. He was supposed to have been consoling other students and teachers. It was a time when we were supposed to be united and not pointing fingers. We are surprised that government called for calm and restraint from finger pointing while on the other hand they take a decision to suspend the head teacher”, he stated.

What the education ministry did was to cause more pain to the Matsha college community, said Maeletso. Maeletso argues that the decision to suspend Phori could also be a clear indication that the education ministry is accepting the blame for transporting students in open trucks.

“Phori like any head teacher is the agent of the ministry of education and skills development. He works under the instructions of the education ministry in every decision he takes. However this is traumatising for him because we do not believe he was supposed to take the blame.

This is also traumatising for other head teachers because they know they might also have to take the blame if anything happens at their schools even though it is not their fault.” Maeletso said as teacher unions they have for many years engaged government to state their displeasure about the students being transported in open trucks. He said the BTU will follow up on Phori’s suspension to find out exactly what is going on.

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