Attempts by students from some Gaborone secondary schools to “join their [striking] teachers” were short-lived yesterday after police officers sought them out, and, in their attempts to shepherd them back to school, ensured instead that they dispersed.
Mmegi received a tip-off that students at a Ledumang Senior Secondary School had unceremoniously left school early yesterday. At 12.05pm, the Mmegi team met scores of Ledumang Senior Secondary students walking in groups towards the BBS mall, their final destination reportedly the Gaborone Secondary School recreational grounds, the normal place of assembly for public service workers taking part in the strike.
Ledumang Senior Secondary School looked deserted while further on, armed police officers stood outside Motswedi Junior Secondary School with some teachers.
The presence of a riot car and riot police illustrated that the police were on the lookout for violent behaviour from students, much like what had happened in schools in Mochudi, Molepolole and Ramotswa some weeks ago.
However, Ledumang Senior students reported that they had been dismissed from school because some classes did not have teachers.
Further down, at Marang Junior Secondary School, the Mmegi team found students also pouring out of the school. When a police van drove towards them, students went back into the school premises. Curious parents and bystanders stood outside the school gates waiting to see what would happen but the scene remained peaceful.
Contrarily, the Ledumang Senior Secondary School students who had traversed the BBS Mall, and had reached as far as Tsholofelo Community Hall met with more police officers who attempted to turn them back.
Some students ran into passages, running from the police. On the other side of Teemane Courts apartments, far from the prying eyes of passing drivers, the Mmegi team witnessed two police recruits slapping some students,with another kicking a student. Back on the other side of the road, the police had managed to shepherd some of the students back in the direction they had come, but they dispersed and scattered all over the BBS mall.