Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Department of Education News

This past week, we have gotten some interesting news. Last Monday, there was a memo sent out by the Provincial Director of the Department of Education stating that two of our school would be merged with a third school just outside of town. Our two schools, Mafale and Mmatope, have 339 and 440 students, respectively. While the DoE has been talking about combining schools for a little while, it was always about merging schools with under 300 students. To make things even more interesting, the merger is to take place in preparation for the new school year, January 1, 2008. That gives the schools 3 months to work out the logistics of the merger, and probably build a few new buildings at Mmatope to house the 900 students that they will have in Grades R through 7. At first, we were in shock, then can to believe that it was not a possibility on such short notice. Everything went back to normal.

Today, I was working at Mokopye More Middle School and came across the continuation of the story...It looks as if the DoE has only 280 students at Mafale, allowing it to be considered for absorption, and there are no less than 20 merger that will take place about our area. The two High Schools will be merged (which is actually a sound decision due to low enrollment in one school which has an enormous building with many used rooms) and they will add Grades 8 & 9. So, the primary schools will be Grades R through 7 and the high school will be Grades 8 through 12. Doing some quick math, I don't see much room for a middle school, do you? Again, this is to be implemented as of Jan 1, 2008. Being selfish, that means that I will be losing both of the schools I was supposed to help, within 4 months of arriving. Not such a great thing. Thinking beyond myself, both principals at Mafale and Mokopye More may be out of a job or relocated. For both of them, this is not good. They are well established members of the community. It would be a big loss for the community and not such a nice thing for them to go through.



With all this happening, the rumors are flying. One I heard was that the North West Provincial Director of Department of Education is getting back at the Principal of Mafale for speaking up in a meeting. Another is that the principal of Mmatope is in on the preparation and has been building new buildings in preparation. Both rumors seem to have no substance. We will see how this plays itself out, but I am worried that it is a big political mess.

1 comment:

Hugh said...

That sucks. Let things play out and see what happens. My guess is that it will all work out.
Damn Red Sox won the World Series over the Rockies and the Patriots look like the best team in football, so it is annoying to be from Baltimore. We are plugging away on our house project and hope to have it done before you guys get back. Let me know when I should visit. Elise is not interested, but I will drag brother Rob along. Hope you guys are well.
Hugh