Wednesday, September 23, 2009

H.E. The President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama at the Official Opening of the School Hall and Sick Bay

source: Republic of Botswana (21/9/09) TAUTONA TIMES no 24 of 2009
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"



1. It gives me profound pleasure to be amongst you here this morning, as I perform the official opening of the School Hall and Sick Bay of your school.

2. I am told the Sick Bay project is a result of a concept that was first conceived in 2005 by some of the teachers who at the time were driven by a great sense of compassion and wellbeing for their students. For them and all those who have been part of this vision, it is indeed a dream come true. It must however, be pointed out that the realization of this dream was not without challenges. I am told that at the beginning, the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) made a commitment for each parent to contribute a brick or ten pula towards the construction of the sick bay. The initiative was indeed welcome and very noble, but it turned out to be a very slow process and it was clear that the project would not meet the implementation target. As a result, fundraising initiatives ranging from requests for donations, contributions as well as pledges from potential sponsors were made without much success. It has also been brought to my attention that when the current PTA Executive Committee assumed office late last year, the Sick Bay project was also made a priority area.

3. I am informed that it was only in May this year that after extending an invitation to Kwena Rocla for its Chief Executive Officer to be the Guest Speaker at today's annual prize giving ceremony, that the School got a breakthrough. After getting to know the vision of the school and its challenges, the Chief Executive Officer - Mr G. Ansell consulted with his partners,

4. Murray and Roberts who did not hesitate in taking up the project. I must hasten to mention that even in the midst of the current economic slowdown, companies such as Murray and Roberts and Kwena Rocla still find it possible to exercise their corporate social responsibility. This is indeed commendable and I would like to personally challenge other private entities to embrace the same spirit of generosity as displayed by Kwena Rocla and Murray and Roberts and give back to the communities that we all know are responsible for their business success.

5. Having said that I must point out that their donation does not mean that they are making huge profits or have necessarily turned the economic corner. In my view it is because they are driven by the mere fact that they have the interest of these children at heart and would like to improve their welfare. Once again I would like to thank both companies for making this noble dream a reality and for reminding all of us about our responsibilities towards our children and furthermore, for bringing us closer to one of the pillars of our National Strategy Map (Vision 2016) - A Compassionate , Just and Caring Nation.

6. Another project that I will be handing over to this institution, is the School Hall, built by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. I know for a long time the school has been yearning for this facility. As you might be aware construction started in May 2008 and was completed this year in February. I would like to urge the staff and students of this school to ensure that they look after it.

7. I am also aware of the fact that this is a combined program where students who have excelled in different areas are going to be awarded prizes. I wish to personally acknowledge the PTA of this School for such an event. The success of this event is illustrative of the hard work and commitment to the school business by both parents and teachers. I also want to congratulate all those receiving awards for excellent performance; as for those who did not do so well I can only urge you to work hard to improve your grades.

8. Finally, the official opening of the two projects and the prize giving ceremony embodies the National Principles of Self Reliance, Unity and Development. Democracy is enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of Botswana, however, it carries with it the responsibility of Discipline and Dignity from every individual. It is through institutional values such as Botho, Customer Focus and Flexibility that Development will be achieved and society galvanized towards ultimate security and national well being. The Sir Seretse Khama Memorial School today has made us all proud and most of us will never forget the events of the 6th October 2006 in which out of the same compassion that we see today, you handed over a house to a needy family.

9. With those remarks, I officially open the School Hall and the Sick Bay. Pula!!!

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