Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) will be going for an elective congress in a few weeks to come. BOSETU is an educators trade union whose main focus is to advocate and advance its members’ welfare before the employer and other stakeholders. The union negotiates and bargains on behalf of its members. Representation during grievances and disciplinary proceedings are just but a few of the main functions of the trade union. It is also the duty of the union to provide social and economic benefits to its members. This they can do through guiding and advising members on a variety of investment opportunities available at any moment in time.
As a member of BOSETU, I have great interest in the outcome of the tentative elective congress. Being an educator, I so wish for a vibrant trade union. A union that will advance my welfare interest and most importantly the social and economic status of my family and I. I am sure these are not far-fetched expectations than what is enshrined in the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union constitution. I want my union to give guidance through its advocacy, my current and future economic status. Although the bulk of my economic benefits lies with my employer and my personal investments, I expect the trade union to guide, advise and advance my interest that would seemingly simplify my economic benefits especially in the future. Being educators whose mandate is to aid impartation of knowledge, skills and the right attitudes on the learners, I further expect the trade union to seriously indulge in educational research that will complement educational reforms. In that regard, I expect BOSETU to partner with the line Ministry/Ministries in advancing reforms that are geared towards making our education system relevant locally and globally. It is in the interest of BOSETU and indeed the country at large that Botswana produces competitive educational graduates whom in turn will advance the economic prowess of this country. We as a country are looking forward to diversifying our economy to a Knowledge Based Economy, a goal that I believe has all hallmarks of a transformed education. A knowledge Based Economy has its roots really deep in the quality of education provided. This therefore, requires a solid, vibrant independent arm of research organs including that of BOSETU.
This opinion therefore is apolitical. It does not seek to promulgate preference of one candidate over the other. The sole purpose is to rally all our candidates and indeed all the members to up our game in so far as driving the mandate of our beautiful union is concerned. A lot is expected of the aspiring candidates and rightfully so. We expect our leaders to have that servitude character as they listen to our pleas, leadership characteristics as they influence us towards outsmarting ourselves, managerial characteristics as they utilize the limited resources to advance advocacy for its members. I am not naïve to the extent that I am unaware of the challenges that our leaders face. All kinds of leadership roles are tedious. If being a class monitor has its own challenges, what more of leading thousands of educated people? Remember that we are individuals with our own uniqueness. That means that every decision that our leaders make, they are bound to be scrutinised, have those that will see progress and those that will not in every decision. It is on such grounds that I pray that whoever becomes fortunate enough to lead this noble union must have a huge heart, listen more and be firm to tell the truth even when the truth is unpopular. At times as a leader, you get to see way ahead than most of your followers, it is at such junctions that you need to make bold decisions. After all it is for the good of your members in future.
I therefore would like to appreciate all the candidates for showing bravery in standing for your post of interest. My believe is that you decided to choose the post that you chose because you believe that you have what it takes to run the office. You believe that you can have a positive impact in the next term. I also believe that you seriously introspected at your character, beliefs and capabilities and realised that you could serve better the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union in that particular area. Let me conclude my small piece by wishing all candidates the best. As candidates let us campaign in good faith and encourage those that are advancing our individual manifestos to do the same. We are competing for the right reasons and not at war. After the congress, we ought to come together for the common good. Ultimately it is the welfare of the members and BOSETU itself who must emerge the winner.