Thursday, October 28, 2021

Gov’t to abolish the dubious “Target 20 000” Programme

A controversial vocational training program dubbed “Target 20 000” under the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology   is expected to be abolished following allegations of mismanagement in running the programme.

Few months after its inception, the programme is being investigated by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).

 Reports reaching The Telegraph suggest that about P300 million was allegedly pumped into the programme but part of the funds disappeared mysteriously few months after it was launched.

It is reported some government officials have also received kickbacks from several private learning institutions mostly in Gaborone.

Following a discovery of mismanagement of funds, the ministry roped in DCEC to probe the whole programme as well as schools that are allegedly implicated.      

Responding to this publication queries, the ministry’s spokesperson Silas Sehularo said that Target 20 000 is currently being evaluated with a view to address the initial intention of providing short term targeted training typically following initial education or training,

“The review and evaluation of the programme is in the process and it is only after the conclusion of the process that we can ascertain whether the goal has been achieved,” he said.

He said due to the evaluation exercise that is ongoing, the programme has stopped admitting new intakes to allow the exercise to go smoothly.

He said a total of 6 952 have since completed their different courses they were enrolled in.

“It is worth noting that with regard to those who completed their programmes, a total of 201 have indicated that they have since been employed, this however relates to only those who have been contacted”

He said there are now 2 821 to date who are still actively enrolled in different courses and are expected to complete next year.

Sehularo explained that “Target 20 000” programme was designed to provide rapid skilling, up-skilling and retooling of unemployed youth.

He said since its inception in January 2016, the programme started with a total of 9 773 young people who were enrolled in different programs or courses for up-skilling and retooling purposes.

Sehularo denied allegations suggesting that the programme is being investigated by DCEC.

In a brief statement DCEC spokesperson Phakamile Kraai indicated that the corruption busting agency has conducted several investigations relating to the ministry.

“At the moment I am not in a position to provide the statistics of cases investigated,” he said.

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