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BTU condemns suspension of Matsha headmaster

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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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FREE AT LAST: LGBTI persons celebrate

Yvonne Mooka

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CELEBRATION TIME: The LGBT community celebrated the historic ruling on same sex romance this Tuesday

Thapelo Matshameko, a transgender woman who last year was attacked at Trekkers night club in Gaborone is over the moon about the High Court ruling that overturned a law that criminalised same sex relations.

A trans-woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. In response to the ruling, she told The Midweek Sun that even though she has had it tough before with people calling her ‘Brazen’ and to stop behaving like a woman, she is now happy that the law recognises that they exist. She said that Batswana are now becoming tolerant towards Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender and Intersex persons.

“Recently I went out for dinner with my bae, and I came all the way from my house wearing a dress. People that know me loved it and my boyfriend loved it even more,” she says, adding that the verdict will also help other LGBTI persons that are in the closet to come out.

In a previous interview Metshameko pleaded for assistance from members of the public to help her do a surgery that would make her a complete woman. For Motswakgakala Sithole also known as Motswafere in music circles, the ruling shows that Botswana is one step closer to gay marriages.

“Thank you to all the visible gay people. We take punches for those hiding and those shaming us for being visible and exercising our rights. You guys attended court cases with pride and you have carried us to freedom,” he said.

He also thanked Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), lawyers in the case, the media, and friends of the LGBTI community for their support. Phio Kenosi who identifies as trans non-binary asexual woma-romantic, (romantically attracted to the feminine essence), was also ecstatic.

“It is obviously showing that we are moving in a new direction that is positive and inclusive towards sexual and gender minority,” he said.

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Wame – a little einstein in the making

Irene Shone

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LITTLE EISTEIN: Wame Kangumbe

Wame Petit Kangumbe, 12, is an Optometrist in the making.

Kangumbe envisions taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to the next level by inventing something scientific in the future.The standard 7 pupil at Ratsie Setlhako Primary School in Palapye impressed everyone during the BIUST 5th STEM Festival and Research and Innovation Symposium with her sharp answers during the fest.

The little Scientist believes that the entire country should embrace science and do more experiments, to find out more about our physical environment and shed dependency on foreign countries in terms of Science and Engineering.

Her secret to relating with different topics so well, is research and more research. “I like researching. We have Wi-Fi at home, and so I often use my mother’s phone to type different topics and interact with how everything is related. I always prepare for the next lesson through researching,” she said.

She said the poverty in Africa can only be eliminated through STEM. “If everyone could take interest in STEM, we would go further in terms of uplifting the status of our economies as African countries,” she said.

She urged her peers to believe in themselves and be serious about their education. “When you write down your notes in class, make an application of what you want out of them. Everyone’s life is in their own hands,” she advised.

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