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Automatic progression: a malfunction

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For years Boitshepo Koi* shared her love for teaching with all the students at Naledi Secondary School. The Development Studies teacher who chooses to remain anonymous told Edu Mail that Naledi is a school which for a long time was known to be a school of stars like its name states.

“It is where every parent wished their child would attend and where every teacher yearned to work at.” She too admits that she loved to be associated with the fact that it was one of the best local schools, teaching the best students.“We used to call them the ‘crème’ of the country because all the best students came here and we as teachers were privileged to be a part of the process as they continued their senior secondary school chapter,” she says.

With a cheerless face and gloomy spirit the renowned teacher who thought her passion would grow with time, finds herself wondering what the future holds for her as even the best schools like Naledi face the wrath of drastic decline of results. She speaks very little of the recently released 2015 BGCSE results which she says continue to deteriorate year in and out. In fact, Koi indicates that this is disheartening for teachers as they are directly involved with the students on a daily basis. “It is obviously frustrating for us,” she maintains.

Koi is of the view that it has become embarrassing to interact with private school teachers or even seek opportunities there as they too wonder how public school results continue to worsen each year.“One private school teacher once asked me why our results deteriorate when they can actually achieve hundred percent pass rate each year. I did not know what to say,” she says in a hollow distressed voice.

Having met her briefly Koi comes across as a dedicated, hardworking and patient teacher. In her reflection however, she blames the introduction of automatic progression. “Ever since that was introduced things were never the same again. Our lives changed completely.”Automatic progression ensures universal access to education policy that allows learners to pass through the 10 years of education offered under the universal policy. In other words, each learner is guaranteed 10 years of education regardless of performance at critical levels such as Standard Seven and Form Three.

“We are experiencing poor examination results and without the slightest sign that they will improve in the near future,” she shares consumed by much worry.
Koi believes that with this system in place, students do not see any need to work hard or even learn at all because it is certain that whether they fail or pass they will go onto the next level. “While we have to deal with undisciplined and disruptive students who hate school, do drugs, we also have to deal with those who wish to learn but are discouraged by the system,” she adds.

She highlights that as a result of being failed by the system, students then find it pointless to even try to perform better and resort to all kind of social ills and disruptive behaviour. “Students are simply not motivated to take school seriously!” Koi remains clueless as to how systems are put in place when they (teachers) are barely consulted on matters that concern students. In fact she is troubled by the fact that even when systems like automatic progression are put in place, teachers are not prepared for it.

“Imagine a class full of D graded students, some of who can barely construct an English sentence.” She reveals that as teachers teaching such a class, the focus then is drawn back to teaching basics which they could have been taught at primary and junior secondary schools. “It gets worse as even in tests and examination, expressing themselves in English for example, is a challenge.”

She is reminded of another one of her colleagues who shared similar sentiments about teaching at Naledi who left to pursue his PhD with the idea that he would come back and continue contribute in the same school.  “He did not even last a year because when he came back things had changed,” she shares.
The hard hit students, she says are those with ‘special needs,’ as they are the most neglected by the system.

“First of all, some teacher have no idea how to educate a child with special needs,” she admits. Second of all, with that in mind they are simply thrown at us even worse in similar classes as other children when they should be given special attention. Another predicament is the student-teacher ration that can stand up to  one teacher to 45 students, and up to seven classes of varied needs. “How can the poor kids pass?” she questions.None the less, Koi makes it known that in the midst of it all are teachers whose morale is on an old time low, as they increasingly get de-motivated by the working and living conditions.

Instead of being supported , she claims teachers are subjected to all sorts of harsh treatment ranging from unpaid overtimes, discriminatory levels of operation, forced to stay at schools when schools are closed, made essential services so as to restrict them from full union rights, among others. Koi recommends that in-service workshops should be reintroduced and properly managed. The workshops used to assist both new and experienced teachers to appreciate the teaching content and methodologies and even refresh the old horses with the latest strategies in education. On top of that, proper and vigorous consultation between teachers and the employer should be made priority.

She also believes that the re-introduction of the repeat system would be helpful as a motivator for students and also ensure the delivery of quality over quantity. Special needs children should be treated and provided for as such. “In fact, there are a host of challenges in education which needs appropriate interventions that if left unattended our education will continue to rot while our children disregard the importance of quality education,” she says.

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Local artistes steal the show at GIMC concert

Keletso Thobega

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La Timmy gave his best as usual and set the mood a notch higher with his upbeat sounds.Meanwhile, Boogie Sid took the crowd way back with a set reminiscent of the early 2000s. Robbie Rob and Brando also gave a fun set that had dancing along. Meanwhile, Sjava’s performance was quite tepid.

He didn’t seem excited to be on stage and his performance was bland from start to finish. Han C on the other hand was a fireball of energy and set the pace, proving that local is truly lekker. The Sedilaka star belted out in tune while also gyrating madly as if his life depended on it. Many sang along to his hits Mafura fura and Se-ileng.

South African rapper Nasty C also held his own fort and although his performance was nothing to write home about, he seemingly gave his fans their money’s worth as they cheered wildly. The Hell No hitmaker saved the popular song for last and everyone sang along to the jam with a catchy hook.

Another energetic performer was Master KG who has been making waves recently. His unique sound, a mix of kwaito, mosakaso had many wiggling and jiggling as if they have ants in their pants. The Situation and Skeleton hitmaker and his dancers churned infectious dance moves throughout their performance.

Meanwhile, Lady Zamar churned hits such as Collide, Criminal, Charlotte and My Baby among others, as she showed off her well-choreographed dance moves. Prince Kaybee was in his usual element and while it was not his best night, most revellers enjoyed the house tunes, especially the hit Club Controller, which can make even the most uptight person lose their morals and hump and bump in the air.

One of the revellers Tshidiso Mokaila said she had enjoyed the concert. “It was chilly but the whole show was well-organised, from the sound to security. It was my first time here and I had the time of my life. I will definitely come again next year,” she said. Another reveller who only identified himself as Tshepo said that the popularity of the bash seemed to be declining but said he was impressed that the organisers had beefed up security this time around.

“We had fun knowing that our cars are safe. The performances were just OK but I think that the no cooler box policy turned off many people especially as there was only one beer on sale and no ciders.” The MCs for the night Loungo, Sadi and Somizi did a sterling job and kept revellers in a party mood. While the previous editions were much better than this year’s instalment, there were few incidents this time around. Revellers let their hair down and partied the night away until the wee hours of the morning.

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The sky is the limit for Ginah Molodi

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In what started as only a mere passion for music at the age of (11) for Ginah Tinah Molodi, it has now changed into a big reality as she recently featured in one of the most decorated DJ in Botswana Boineelo Othusitse known as DJ Bino in a single house-track dubbed Ke Mosadi. Growing up, 23-year-old Molodi was a vital member of the Praise and Worship at her church.

In a recent interview with Vibe, Molodi said that her mother had always encouraged her to give her best. “My late mother has always been my mother, a role model, a best friend, an instigator and that really kept going because she motivated me,” she said.

The Mmadinare born aspirant artiste made her first major appearance in one of the Botswana Television (BTV) talent show called My African Dream before deciding to try her luck on this year’s My Star Show, “I have always dreamt of joining My Star from the moment it started broadcasting on BTV and I only got join this year because I wanted to share my talent with Botswana as I always believed in my singing and the talent that got has given me. Winning would have been a great bonus to me,” she said.

Molodi further reiterated on her current main enthusiast who is apparently her aunt. “The one person who was always behind me is my aunt Thusano Moseki, she has always been my biggest fan and she used to call me at my tenure at My Star wanting to find out whether I chose either the right song or rehearsed well and stuff and that really motivated me a lot as she strongly believed in me,” she said.
Molodi said being eliminated in the My Star Top 12 had not deterred her as she went on to release a single. “I did not win at My Star but that never really discouraged me because I have so many people that believe in me. I decided to do a single titled Ke Mosadi which is basically a personal song and it celebrates a women from her phenomenal transition from a young to a women with a massive help from DJ Bino as my producer,” she said.
Meanwhile, DJ Bino said that Molodi’s brother had sent him her audio. “When I first heard that our home girl is currently at My Star, I told her brother to send me the audio and she was amazing. I promptly decided to start working with her.
She did not win maybe because sometimes the judges do not see what we see as producers hence I took liberty to do a song with her because I appreciate her talent,” he said. DJ Bino added that Molodi still had a long way to go as she will soon be working with big names such as Odirile ‘Vee’Sento, Busi (Malawi) to push her promising music career to greater heights. DJ Bino also confirmed that he was working on dropping his 2nd album, which will be titled The Journey.

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