REJECT COMMERCIALIZATION OF EDUCATION

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 02 June 2020   |   By Ricardo Kanono

One of the fundamental human rights at the epicenter of human development is the right to education. It's through proper education that our dejected masses living in squalor and abject poverty can get themselves out of that sorry state. They say education is a great equalizer but I say proper education is the great equalizer.

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Year in year out when PSLE, JCE and BGCSE results are released private schools register more than 60% pass rate while our public schools are limping few points over 20% pass rate. Meaning more than 80% of our young people (all of them from the poor families) are dejected to face the unforgiving economic situations outside when their age mates from rich families march into the gates of tertiary education. It's common knowledge that the prices in private schools are out of reach for our poor people and the working class( your teachers, nurses, police, soldiers, petrol attendants, farmer, security guards, artisans etc) this making the private schools exclusively for the rich. One many wonders if it is by design or by default that education has been commercialized in Botswana; curriculum and infrastructure in public schools are in bad and sorrow state, is it a deliberate move by the government to collapse the public education so they create a room and market for the private entities driven by maximization of profit? Truth be told, education offered by private institutions gives hope and appealing. It is at that juncture that when one faced with two options of private and public education one will pick private education for the sake of the future of their children, no matter how financially it drains. With that conscious or sub conscious decision it means it's a privilege only afforded by the rich and those with means, the child of the poor and the poor of the poorest is being relegated to unappealing public education system with no hope for the bright future as it has been said that education is the key to success.

I demand the government must demonstrate political will by uplifting the status of the education in the country to a world class quality for we are global citizens. With that it will bring social equality regardless of economic background. Opting for private education will be by choice not because one does not trust and see hope in public schools. With that level of equality commercialization of education will end, as private schools will die a natural death as there won’t be customers for private schools since same service or even better is being offered for free or with less expense at public schools. On the other hand the government can abolish private education at all, with that our focus as a nation; both poor and rich will be in improving the quality and state of education in Botswana.

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The only reason the rich are parting ways with those large amounts of monies to have their kids attending Thornhill, Maruapula, Rainbow, Regent Hill ,John Mackenzie  and other private schools is because these outlets are offering PROPER EDUCATION as compared to what our kids, children of the poor majority get in government schools. Due to this we now have better and worse schools; better and worse fundamental basic rights. It can't be, it can't be that because I am born from a poor background then I should consume poor education. This is a clear sign of a nation caught irresponsible and negligent.

The status quo benefits a minority of our population, the powerful and the rich at the expense of the poor majority. We the poor send our kids to schools where there are drugs, poor  infrastructure, no books, skyrocketing teacher to student ratios, worse enough the pit toilets even for our 7 year kids, everyday they are at risk of falling in the toilets while those from the rich families are at comfort. Thisexpensive price justbecause we are born from the poor parents. It's on this ground that we call on the state to outlaw private education for the betterment of themajority; we can't have a law serving the interests of the few.

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History has taught us the rich only contribute when they are directly affected; they not bothered by the poor education in public schools as it doesn't affect them. Your newsfeed can attest to this, even the most selfish capitalist are donating to the coved relief fund as this pandemic know no class. Should private education fall off you will see all of us uniting towards the building of our public education, it's then that the phrase EDUCATION IS A GREAT EQUALIZER will be realized as we will all being study under same conditions, rich and poor. Let’s all of us to unite in building this nation and improving humanity that's why we calling on the state to force the rich to help in funding public education.

Funny enough, even those top in government officials, those tasked with responsibility to provide to the nation are lining up at Maruapula, Jacaranda and other private schools, they can't consume what they are dishing to our people. Some are owners of these private schools. The poor education at public education is working to their advantage as it will then deepen the need to for the public to take their kids to this private education.

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The state as a product of this irreconcilable class antagonism should take a decision that is in the interest of the two classes.

Ke leweno

Olefile Kgosana

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