Botswana College of Open and Distance Learning (BOCODOL) Executive Director Dr. Daniel Tau has challenged teachers to wake up from slumber and claim their rightful position as mother of all professions. When delivering a keynote address at the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU)’s 80th Anniversary mini celebrations at Maun recently, Tau said the teaching profession has been sluggish in response to issues that continue to haunt their sector. “Teaching has been dubbed the mother of all professions and history has confirmed this over the centuries,” explained Tau, adding that it was the main profession in Botswana at independence. Tau added: “Overtime, however, varying professions nurtured by teaching proliferated, organised themselves, and bargained for superior conditions. Many have overtime realised self-regulation and have for instance meaningfully integrated modern technology into their modus operandi.” He lamented that many professions are able to claim to be more transformative and are winning the acclaim with teachers still finding their footing in becoming transformative. “I dare say, teaching did not respond much. It is only now that we are talking about a Teaching Council that should among other things ensure that teaching, as a profession is reserved solely for qualified teachers to practice in,” said the former school head.
Tau expressed disappointment at the way teaching has lost its significance, leading to loss of morale among teachers. Tau said: “We can hardly speak of any well-defined and widely accepted ethics of the teaching profession that would otherwise galvanise us, as teachers. We seemingly have lost grip of the struggle to determine our own destiny.” Acting BTU President Gotlamang Oitsile admitted that the morale of teachers has of recent been affected exceedingly thereby stripping off their respect, dignity and reverence amongst other professionals. “Despite all this, I am calling on teachers to hold on, as the union leadership engages the employer,” said Oitsile.