On Friday, the Minister of Education, Jacob Nkate, was in Marobela in the Central District to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the takeover of Marobela Brigade Trust Fund Institution by Government.
Informing the participants, Nkate said that the association of the Brigade movement and the Government dated back as far as 1969 therefore the government enrolled a comprehensive review of the Brigades in 2001, whose objective were to review the past achievement, shortcomings, assess its role, status, performance and outline their future prospects and potential.
He reminded the participants that the government had enrolled other stakeholders for the advice concerning this review. Nkate mentioned that the findings revealed that production activities in the majority of these institutions had ceased, and were not operational and failing to make a contribution to payment of salaries of the employees.
“Poor management in most of the Brigades drastically affected the performance and efficiency of these institutions, hence contributed to lack of responsiveness to the market needs,” said Nkate.
He revealed that these findings resulted in the issuance of the President Directives No. 36/2006, in which some of the directives spelt as follows:
Government will takeover Brigades and convert them into Technical Colleges or satellite campuses of Technical colleges.
However, the minister pointed out that the Brigade movement of Botswana was founded on the principle of training with production and has been in existence over a long time which has seen it contributing immensely to development of the country in several ways.
He highlighted the vacuum in the skills development for many young people, especially in the rural areas by providing theoretical, practical and on the job training in the construction, mechanical, textile, agriculture trades and business studies.
“They contributed to employment and income generation at village level, through self help or cooperative venture in building, agriculture, retail and commercial activities, providing goods and services in which at all the time of independence, were void of economic activities,” he added.
Nkate added that the Brigades acted as a social safety valve harnessing the energies of large numbers of rural youth who might have otherwise become idle, disaffected and alienated, further curtailing rural urban migration.