BY OBUSITSE KOLOGWE
One of the leading education institutions in the country, Institution for Development Management (IDM) last week held a celebration in Francistown as it officially opened its campus in Francistown and its Centre for Local government. The institution is located within Botho University Premises in Francistown.
IDM was established in 1974 and has its presence is in three countries, being Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
The institution came about as a brain child of Botswana’s first President Sir Seretse Khama, Lesotho’s King Moshoeshoe and King Sobhuza II of Swaziland (Now Eswatini) in the 60’s. The main aim of the institution was to address shortage of skills in these countries and improve service delivery
Giving his remarks during the opening ceremony, IDM Regional Director Richard Malikongwa said IDM found it relevant to increase its presence in Francistown more so that it will be easy to serve regions such as Central District, Boteti, Bobirwa, Chobe, Tutume, North East as well as Ngamiland where they have always wanted to take their services to.
“As an institution designed to support the government’s skills gaps, IDM also plays a very important role in supporting the national goals of bringing services to the people,” he said.
According to Malikongwa, IDM first opened its doors in the second city in 2014 the time the campus offered limited products with enrolment capacity of 35 students all in part time programmes. The courses include Certificate in Purchasing and Procurement (CIPS) (24 students) and the Certificate in Archives and Records Management (CARM) with 11 students. He revealed that currently the institution has a total of 566 students involved in a day and evening classes.
“This is phenomenal growth of slightly over 1600% within a four year period and this bears testimony to the fact that IDM is here to stay in Francistown. Additionally IDM absorbs international students from as far as Zimbabwe and Namibia as part of our regional growth plan which seeks to penetrate the rest of Africa,” he said.
While the institutions is faced with a number of challenges such as classroom space, learning equipment and limited parking space Malikongwa emphasized that they prioritize the welfare of students. He revealed that institution used to operate at Industrial area where the management felt students safety was compromised.
“It was against this backdrop of some of these challenges that the institution leadership took a decision to partner with Botho Park to move where we are today,” he said.
For his part the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President and ESP Coordinator Goitesemang Morekisi commended the institution for opening the institution in Francistown more so that the country is aiming to become a knowledge driven economy. She said the role of tertiary institutions is critical in taking the country’s economy forward. She emphasized that it is important to note that education institutions assist government in driving its national agenda through provision of skills that are competitive and relevant.
“Human Capital plays a critical role in the development of the economy. Investment in it can be used to produce human resources that drive growth across the economic sectors. Training institutions are therefore vital, and as government we remain committed to providing a conducive environment for the development and nurturing of a skilled workforce that can compete both locally, regionally and internationally,” she said.
Among other important issues Morekisi said it is important to note that government has since developed and implementing Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan(ETSSP) 2015 ÔÇô 2020. She said together with stakeholders such as IDM and Botho College they are determined to achieve that plan. She further implored various other local education institutions to relentlessly find ways of how they can partner with government to effectively deliver on the ETSSP.