Tackle social-ills among learners
The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) has improved their efforts to push the mandate of promoting Olympic Values Education through partnering with Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA).
The two sports bodies signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week committing to work hand in hand to drive the initiative forward. The programme is mostly based on excellence, respect and friendship to reduce social-ills among learners.
According to BNOC CEO Tuelo Serufho, the most important part of the agreement is to bring sports and culture together to mold behaviour of children such that they excel in both sports and academics.
“This focuses more on an individual. We are afflicted by a lot of social-ills where students beat teachers and indulge in drugs; so we are trying to catch them while they are still young to teach them to delay some of these activities or stay away from these bad habits. Normally, these issues arise during the adolescence stage so BISA is a critical stakeholder since they deal with these children at this stage so they give us an avenue in this constituency. So since BISA is involved in sports, they are able to incorporate these Olympic values in their daily programme,” Serufho said.
He said going forward they are looking to engage private schools and other stakeholders in order to avoid leaving anyone behind. Serufho said they have measures in place to make sure the initiative becomes a success. “There is training that we pass on to educators who in turn pass it to students and other interested parties but going forward we will be having some sort of competitions for students where they will recite the values. And in terms of behavioral change for students we are going to reward students who have improved in terms of behaviour at national level,” he said.
The initiative has been rolled out in Parwe, Motswedi and Bokamoso Junior Scondary Schools where some positive results have been obtained in terms of behavioral change. Through the programme learners will come face to face with role models such as Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe such that they inspire them to strive to become better citizens and make life choices that can shape their future.
BISA president Joshua Gaotlhobogwe said the partnership is very vital since it focuses on empowering learners in and outside the classroom through sport. “We are not only concerned about the joy that comes with our athletes winning medals in sports locally and internationally but we believe in a holistic development of these students. This, we believe, can be achieved through embracing the Olympic Values Education Programme. The role of sport is not just about profiling us as a country but is also to help develop responsible and assertive young citizens who are empowered to make better and informed decisions concerning their lives in general. We believe that these positive results will not only impact learners academically but will also encourage and arouse interest in sports,” said Gaotlhobogwe.
Through OVEMP there will be a lot of awareness on the benefit of sport to individuals and the society at large and this will in turn make it easier to sell sport as a career to learners. The programme is expected to be rolled out to other BNOC associate members such as Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (BOTESSA).