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Gov’t to investigate Moshupa students saga

Following a decision by Moshupa Secondary School to reinstate some female students who were expelled from boarding facilities last week, government has instituted an investigation to get to the bottom of an earlier decision to exclude the concerned students.

Although she would not confirm or deny allegations that the students had been excluded from the hostels for their sexual orientation, Ministry of Education and Skills Development spokesperson, Potso Thari, said investigations were underway to establish what happened: “The investigations are still ongoing as we want to get to the bottom of this issue,” she said.

About six Form 5 students were reportedly expelled from the school hostels after school authorities established that they were lesbians.

The incident attracted the attention of human rights organisation, Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) who called the school’s management to rescind its decision to expel the students from boarding facilities.

In their statement BONELA stated that “the decision was taken by Moshupa Senior Secondary School to expel students from boarding facilities, some of whom are due to sit for their final examination is not in the best interest of the child, as prescribed by the children’s Act of 2009. Moreover, this decision has a discriminatory undertone, based on reference to sexual orientation”.

On Friday the Ministry of Education and Skills Development immediately released a statement that stating: “We would like to confirm an incident in which six Form Five students were excluded from schools hostels at Moshupa Senior Secondary School. However, we would like to inform you that the students have been allowed back into the hostels”.

BONELA have since commended the reinstatement of the students and have called on service providers to consider the best interests of the child when making decisions that affect children across all platforms.

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