Government-sponsored tertiary education enrolment and participation rate during the past year recorded a significant decline as a result of limited governmental financial resources for sponsorship. Delivering his state of the nation address (SONA) recently, President Dr. Ian Khama noted that there has been a decline of 19 percent for the past two financial years (2014/2015 and 2015/2016).
The President stated that as a result of this, government is considering cost sharing as an alternative to government sponsorship. “Given the exponential growth in demand for tertiary education, government is therefore exploring options for sustainable funding including cost-sharing,” said President Khama.
In a bid to address the soaring unemployment in the country, especially among the youths, the President said government has a plan to tackle that crisis which entails employers establishing the appropriate and critical marketable skills for graduates.
With regards to youth empowerment initiatives, President Khama reiterated government’s continued support for startups through the Youth Development Fund (YDF). Of the 1, 032 business startups which were funded through YDF, a total of 1, 613 jobs were created and the total cost to fund all these programmes was P107 million.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology is seeking an additional P1.3 billion after running out of funds for student allowances and sponsorship.
President Khama also said that in a bid to up-skill the youth, government was encouraging the youth to enroll for different apprenticeship programmes through Madirelo Training.