He says they had about two years to work on preparations for the double shift. "Actually, we were supposed to be amongst the first schools piloting the project two years ago and we prepared ourselves then," he pointed out. He says that because they have students enrolled with the Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL), which starts at around 5pm, they requested the ministry to delay rolling out double shift at their school.
"So we formed a double shift committee, which drafted the guidelines of how the project should be run in the school way before the official guidelines were released by the ministry in 2007," he said.
Mophuting further stated that they had time to benchmark with the other schools that had already started the pilot project with the help of one of their heads of department (HOD) who was from a double shift school.
He however said, at the time of implementing the project a week ago, one of their main challenges was the feeding of the students who come in the morning and knock off at midday. He says because they know that they are going home where they would find food they do not touch the meals prepared for them at school resulting in a major wastage. "This is not the first time. We have always experienced that even during the time when they knocked off from school at midday to go for short vacations. As soon as the bell rang they just left without eating," he says, adding that they have since managed to find a way of having the students eat their day meal.
The headmaster says they have a serious shortage of stationery resulting in the secondary department giving them funds to buy stationery for themselves. "The problem is still there because we do not have a driver and our van is too small to carry large volumes," he says. He indicated that the Teaching Service Management says it is working around the clock to avail more teachers to their school. Mophuting says they have shortages only in Mathematics, Chemistry and Setswana.
Mophuting says the accommodation problem would not affect them much as the Ministry of Education has given them an additional 23 houses in Tlokweng, another seven in Block Seven and some in the recently renovated Kerekeng Flats, in addition to their teachers quarters. The Parents Teachers Association (PTA) has agreed to use their own funds to employ casual labour to clean the toilets, as the students would not have time to clean them as time went on, he said. Meanwhile Mophuting revealed that there are still Form Four students who have not reported to school a week after the schools opened. He said their reasons could be that they have not settled their debts with their junior schools.
"School fees is a public reform that needs to be implemented and we cannot afford to admit a student who has not paid because we would be admitting a problem," he said, adding that they expect parents to pay school fees on time. "There are guidelines on how parents can pay and therefore there is no reason why some students cannot have reported to school due to failure to pay school fees," he said.