Lefhoko speaks out

SHARE   |   Monday, 16 November 2015   |   By Phillimon Mmeso

A former cabinet minister who was part of the decision to undertake mega projects to address water and power challenges, which are currently bedeviling the country has criticised President Ian Khama for failing to adequately address the problems. During the state of the nation address on Monday the diminutive former MP for Shoshong, Duke Lefhoko, could hardly hide his disappointment on Khama's failure to adequately state how the country found itself in the water and power crisis.“I expected the President to state why and how we landed into the murky waters and what action is going to be taken against those who put the country in that situation,” said the former cabinet minister who served under Festus Mogae’s presidency.
Lefhoko said people who put the country in the current crisis must be called to account as billions of tax payers’ money have been wasted. The former Botswana High Commissioner to Namibia said that it takes two to tango and as such there are some within government who must account especially the consultants and government engineers who were tasked with overseeing the construction of Morupule B Power Plant. Put to him that he was part of the cabinet that came up with the projects, the soft spoken former legislator answered in affirmation and acknowledged that they are partly to blame. “We cannot absolve ourselves but you must note that there were people tasked with overseeing these projects and the question is what action was taken against them,” he asked rhetorically.
Khama said in his SONA that as part of mitigation, government has availed a budget for emergency projects, “network extensions, groundwater investigations and the expansion/installation of water treatment plant capacity.” He said more than P1 billion worth of projects are at various stages of implementation. Reacting to that, Lefhoko said that he acknowledges government’s efforts but he foresees the country being saddled by the water crisis for a long time.
Updating the nation on the status of education in the country, Khama revealed that development of the Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP) was completed in November 2014 and approved by cabinet in May this year. “The plan is a reform strategy for improving the quality of the education sector’s performance.  At its core, ETSSP is focused on improving governance through enhanced educational administration to deliver better coordination and resource allocation, as well as strategic planning,” he said.
Lefhoko-a former assistant minister of education, said the challenges facing the education sector is the continuous coming up with different systems before the old ones have anchored. “One of the reasons why our education system seems to be taking a nose dive is that every time there is a problem we abandon the old systems of solving it and bring new ones,” he said.
Performance Management System (PMS) is one system which Lefhoko said was introduced but before it could anchor another one performance based reward system (PBRS) was also brought in. “There have been a huge appetite to introducing new studying methodologies and before they can be well understood a new one is introduced and this confuses both teachers and students,” said Lefhoko, a former teacher.
He said another problem that is bedeviling the education system is that there is low morale among teachers as their concerns are not being addressed. Lefhoko said the migration of Teachers from Teaching Service Management (TSM) to Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) has worsened the situation as public service act is not compatible with teaching issues.
Students indiscipline is another area that need to be addressed, said Lefhoko adding that it is being made worse by trying to liberalise the education without doing proper research“Nowadays you can hear that a student has assaulted a teacher because teachers are no longer allowed to instill discipline and has a huge contribution on poor results,” he said.
On Economic Stimulus Program which government intend to introduce by tapping money from the foreing reserves, in order to boost the economy and create employment, Lefhoko said it is a well thought out move. “What is important is that will it create sustainable jobs after ESP has elapsed because if not it will have been a futile exercise,” he said.

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