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Education ministry continues to build capacity

20 Mar 2023

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development will continue to build capacity, owing to the growing demand of specialised services, particularly to effectively drive the inclusive education agenda.

This was said by education and skills development assistant minister, Mr Aubrey Lesaso in response to a parliamentary question recently.

Mr Lesaso acknowledged the countrywide acute shortage of educational psychologists who assessed children with special needs.

He indicated that the ministry had adopted an outsourcing strategy in the interim and had in a number of occasions engaged private practicing educational psychologists and other allied health practitioners to conduct diagnostic assessments in various parts of the country, including the Central region.

“The ministry, in its efforts to address the shortage of educational psychologists has prioritised training of officers in this discipline and so far, nine officers and teachers are pursuing further studies at masters level as professionals in this field are required to have a minimum of masters degree to practice as educational psychologists,” he said.

He added that the ministry had also made efforts to decentralise the diagnostic services to Kanye in the Southern District and  Francistown in the North East.

He said the Kanye office was manned by one educational psychologist who served Southern, Ghanzi and Kgalagadi districts while the Francistown satellite office had a psychologist and a speech and language therapist and provided service to the North East, Chobe and some parts of Central region, mainly Selebi Phikwe  and Tutume as well as Tonota sub-districts.

“I should therefore underscore that provision of services for learners with special educational needs requires a multi-disciplinary team due to their diverse nature and the ministry works closely with the Ministry of Health to augment its current shortage of manpower,” he added.

Mr Lesaso further told Parliament that there was no educational psychologist based in the Central region, but the region was serviced from Francistown in the North East region, which had one psychologist.

He added that the Central Resource Centre for Special Education in Tlokweng was manned by two educational psychologists, one for speech and language therapy while the other one was a low vision specialist and also provided services to the South East, Kweneng, Kgatleng, North West (Ngami) and Central regions.

“The ministry does outsource education assessment services, as funds permit, and 280 learners were assessed in the Central region last year through outsourcing,” said Mr Lesaso.

Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe East, Mr Kgoberego Nkawana had asked the minister if he was aware of the shortage of psychologists who assessed children with special needs in the Central District.

Mr Nkawana also wanted to know the number of psychologists in the region and where they were stationed. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament March 2023

Date : 20 Mar 2023