UB Heeds Letsholo Primary School Teachers Call for Assistance

The University of Botswana has donated 37 face shields to Letsholo Primary School teachers. Letsholo Primary School, located in Kopong in the Kweneng District, has 35 teachers who in the face of COVID-19 made a plea to the University of Botswana to assist with personal protective equipment.

The school has 900 learners and 16 classes. Consequently, as part of its contribution to the national response towards combating the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the University of Botswana heeded the call and donated the face shields on June 17, 2020. Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor Happy Simphambe, delivered the face shields on behalf of UB management.

In gratitude, Letsholo Primary School Headteacher, Ms Didimalang Mateelana, explained that the face shields would go a long way in helping to protect both teachers and learners against COVID-19. Ms Mateelana said when they made the request, they were just trying their luck. She could not help expressing her joy that the University went even further, sending its executive management to deliver the face shields.

Ms Mateelana said the gesture was a great honour to Letsholo Primary School, which was struggling with limited resources, to have received support from a premier institution of higher learning such as the University of Botswana. She observed that since the face shields were transparent, they would come in handy for teachers especially those who teach beginners who had to learn word pronunciation and sounds through lip reading.

Responding, Professor Siphambe said the University of Botswana heeded the call to assist Letsholo Primary School with the face shields as part of its mandate of stakeholder engagement. He said as a institution built through the sweat of Batswana, the University of Botswana would forever remain indebted to assist during such difficult times besides playing a leading role in the development of the country.

In addition, Professor Siphambe noted that primary schools play a critical part as the foundation of education. As such it was imperative to assist them to nurture learners as early as possible lest they produced half baked graduates which could negatively impact on the entire education system in the country.

Meanwhile, Faculty of Engineering and Technology Dean, Professor Benjamin Bolaane, briefed the teachers on innovations the University of Botswana embarked on as part of its national response towards COVID-19. These included production of facemasks, face shields, ventilation hood and ventilator.

In the end, Professors Siphambe and Bolaane as well as Executive Assistant in the Vice Chancellor’s office, Mr Moeng Segaetsho, had the opportunity to visit Standard Seven learners in their classrooms to motivate them ahead of the primary school leaving examinations due in three months time. It was pleasing to observe that Letsholo Primary School teachers had complied with COVID-19 health protocols and ensured social distancing was observed in the school at all times.

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