Last week, Debswana’s Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines(OLDM) handed over a classroom block worth P2.4 million to Mokoboxane Primary School in Mokoboxane village. The project which was built by the mines is part of Debswana’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) iniatiatives. Giving an overview of the project, the Senior Human Resource Manager at OLDM, Lebole Mpho Mokoto said that in 2013 Debswana responded to a call from government for public private partnerships in education by adopting Mokoboxane Primary School.
“This partnership resulted in Debswana investing over P2.4 million in the development of infrastructure such as classrooms and an admission block for this school. The building works project was awarded to Jacker North West Tswana; a grade B citizen owned registered company by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board(PPADB). The contract duration was 20 weeks,” she said.
Mokoto said the scope of work entailed construction of a 1×3 face brick classroom block with acoustic folding partitions to enable it to be used as a multi-purpose hall as and when required. She added that the gross floor area of the classroom block is 300 meters squared. The project also includes the construction of combined Library and Administration Office Block. She said the project was done in collaboration with important stakeholders such as the Boteti Sub District Council.
“Through this initiative we hope to strengthen and improve Mokoboxane Primary School programmes and curricula, create and maintain sustainable cooperation between OLDM and the school,” added Mokoto.
She said that this relationship should result in a number of projects that include among others building a new and revamped library. She said this will go a long way in making a positive impact in the lives of the students who are the future leaders of the country.
Giving his keynote address, the Assistant Minister of Basic Education, Moiseraela Goya commended Debswana for its contribution in developing the people of Boteti Sub District. He said that the adopt a school programme allows individuals or groups to jointly work together with schools to provide financial or material support to enhance instruction in the classroom and to provide a conducive environment for learning. He said that the support may be provided to the whole school or a section of the school.
“Possible areas of collaboration include provision and maintenance of Information Communication Technology equipment, academic excellence awards, leadership empowerment, entrepreneurship, training and development and provision of infrastructure at the adopted schoo.,” said the Assistant Minister.
He said this project by Debswana is another step towards developing sustainable and innovative partnerships with the private sector aimed at satisfying unmet demands for quality education. He said Debswana has set precedence in the region by being the first company to respond to government’s plea in this regard. He said expected outcomes between OLDM and Mokoboxane Primary School includes among others positive influence on the schools culture, improved teachers and learners performance, improved learners connection to life outside the school and learners life skills developed and sharpened.
“This is indeed in line with the Debswana Corporate Social Investment programme and also in line with the “Orapa Today and Boteti Tomorrow Iniatiative. The aim for this is for Debswana to leave an impeccable legacy beyond Diamond Mining in the Boteti Region,” said Goya.
He also said that while government is the overall custodian of education, she cannot do it alone. He implored other organizations that are yet to join government efforts to so. He commmended the partnership that exists between OLDM and Boteti Sub District. He said by undertaking such a project Debswana is demonstrating its value of “Pulling together” The He also showered accolades on Debswana for its “Show we care” value where the company disburses an annual amount of P3.25million allocated under its CSI programme to support projects ranging from sports, arts and culture and health including HIV/Aids support.
“This programme is also aimed at ensuring that OLDM leaves the mining communities better off than when the company began operating. This iniatiative is not only alighted to Botswana vision 2016 but also to the Debswana Business Strategy that seeks to optimize resources while contributing to the development and wellbeing of the communities that it does business in,” he said.
He lauded OLDM General Manager, Allen Breen for making the project a success. He said OLDM has clearly demonstrated its commitment to community upliftment and bringing lasting change in areas that need it most through funding of such a project.