UDC MESSAGE BY CDE JUSTIN HUNYEPA (UDC LABOUR SECRETARY) TO BTU 6TH CONGRESS, AT MAJESTIC FIVE HOTEL (PALAPYE) ON THE 12TH JULY 2022.
THEME: EMPOWERING EDUCATORS, BUILDING GLOBAL COMPETITIVE HUMAN CAPITAL FOR THE NATION
The Director of Ceremonies, BTU President and his Central Committee, BTU delegates, Ministry of Education officials, international delegation, invited guests and the teaching fraternity at large, ladies and gentlemen, UDC salutes you all and wishes BTU 6th Congress a great success.
Since its formation in 1937, BTU has stood the test of time and this is the real time now to reflect if it has lived its mandate as a civil society organisation to improve the working and living conditions of the teaching profession. It is a fact, teachers are not happy with the current conditions of service. You have done your best under the circumstances, but you can do far much better. You and the other teacher unions have the numbers to get what you want. The current Cabinet and Parliament is dominated by former teachers, starting with the President, the Vice President and several Ministers. This is really your time to eat by taking advantage of those holding real power in government. However, the Umbrella for Democratic Change 2019 Manifesto answers your congress theme. EMPOWERING EDUCATORS, BUILDING GLOBAL COMPETITIVE HUMAN CAPITAL FOR THE NATION
UDC promises to:
- Restore the dignity of Teachers and Teaching by introducing a productive Teaching Council; introduce incentives for Teachers and Improve the working and living conditions of teachers.
- Deliver first rate education that equips our people with the skills sets to drive socioeconomic change, now and in the future. Our approach is to shift human resource development towards the skills of the future and the demands of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
- Equip Schools from primary to secondary with state of the art infrastructure and equipment and avail tablets to all learners from the primary to the tertiary levels of education, and upgrade teacher skills as appropriate.
- Review and overhaul school curricula so that the curricula shift decisively in the direction of subjects that support innovation and creativity. i.e. STEAM. Eg, sports, film, music, entertainment and television industries- from infrastructure and facilities to instructors.
- Introduce state of the art technology in schools by equipping classrooms, from the primary to the tertiary level, with the technology necessary to give our children the type of education they need to hold their own against the best anywhere in the world and secure Botswana’s future prosperity.
- Introduce a system wide continuous professional and leadership development programme to equip the system to deliver. We will develop clear and rewarding career paths for educators to allow them to grow and realise their career and remuneration aspirations within teaching.
- Decentralise the management of schools to districts and schools. District education offices will be given more powers to manage education at the district level, including authority to plan and budget.
- Reduce the teacher-learner ratio to a maximum of 1:25. Offer permanent employment subject to satisfactory performance to all qualified teachers employed on temporary contracts who have worked for 12 months or more.
- Mobilise resources, from the government and external sources, to fund research, including support programmes to develop and commoditise indigenous food, medicines, mineral processing, solar technology, local medicines, etc.
- A UDC government will invest in the three critical 4IR capabilities of first rate human capital, first rate infrastructure, and business sophistication. We will subsidise data usage for students and unemployed youths and provide facilities with high speed connectivity and computers to provide platforms for ICT graduates to engage in programming, coding, and software development.
In conclusion, UDC calls on BTU to Strengthen its advocacy and lobby strategies with like minded teacher organisations domestically and globally. Benchmark with developed countries and see how best teachers are treated. Sound policies and programmes must be formulated to EMPOWER THE TEACHING FRATENITY who can be deployed both locally and globally.
- We want to see Education officials writing teachers strong letters recommending:
- Promotions for teachers within reasonable time based on merit
- Further studies for degree, masters or PhD programme for all levels of teaching.
- Non sharing of teachers irrespective of their marital status or school position.
- Non separation of spouses and transferring teachers fairly.
- True and genuine parallel progression for teachers with financial benefits.
- Many other incentives and packages for the teaching profession.
- UDC assures you of a radical socio-economic transformation as it has the adequate manpower across all sectors of the economy. It has all the meritorious management and administrative skills from its pool of seasoned professionals to run an efficient and effective government. An example is of the 14 UDC members of Parliament who are currently doing exceptionally well in parliament against the ruling party majority.
- Where will UDC get the money? Government collects billions of pulas monthly from different taxes, levies, diamond sales, etc. Lets get our priorities right and stop the endless corruption and financial mismanagement and put money where it is most needed.
- UDC promises a House of Representatives where workers and other Civil Society Organisations will have a voice in government unlike the current situation.
- UDC therefore calls upon BTU general membership and Batswana in general to effect regime change in 2024, by voting UDC in large numbers, or forever remain in BDP bondage. It is sad to see teachers crying year in and year out and unfulfilled promises made at your conferences, congresses, Labour Day, Teachers Day, etc. Other countries in the region have effected regime change and this has brought positive changes to the citizens and education system. Zambia is an example of changing government and the education sector is currently undergoing positive transformative change. Be brave and change the government comrades.
- All the above will help build a global competitive Human Capital for the nation.
- We wish BTU a progressive and successful 6th Congress.
Halala BTU Halala