Last week during the launch of the Result Improvement Initiative by the mining giant, Tati Nickel Company in Francistown, Vice President Mompati Merafhe urged the private sector to continue and help government in trying to uplift the education status in the country.
Merafhe indicated that although the government had set initiatives and had set standards in the delivery of education, the participation and commitment from the sectors of the economy was of utmost importance and were a necessity.
“I say this because we continue to call the private sector to take the lead in employment creation and growth of the economy,” he said.
Merafhe pointed out that Tati Nickel Mining Company had set a milestone by sealing a partnership with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development as it opened a doorway of prospects for further cooperation in enhancing the country’s education initiative. He went on to mention that the future of the country could not solely depend on mineral wealth but the quality of citizens that would be produced.
He added that the government continued to subsidize the cost of the provision of education to its citizens with this financial year alone the ministry accounting to a budget of 22%.
Merafhe said that President Ian Khama had always stated his desire and commitment for the government to be a centre of excellence, giving an example of the establishment of the Education hub.
He indicated that through this Hub, there was an objective to pursue excellence and quality education by establishing educational and training institutions that were comparable to the best in the world.
Merafhe cited the main challenge for developing country like Botswana as being the problem of identifying and realigning secondary and tertiary education to areas which lack requisite skills. He said that initiatives, such as the Results Improvement Initiative, pioneered a good way of improving students’ performance, especially that it was focused on the subjects such as mathematics and science.
“We all know that students who excel in these subjects are in a better position to pursue careers in technological and engineering fields, the skills which are still lacking in the economy,” said Merafhe.
He indicated that the National Human Resource Development Strategy had identified such areas as being critical in the economy and that should guide training and skills development.
Merafhe said that it was very important that all partners in education and skills development work together to ensure that Batswana, particularly the youth, are appropriately skilled, adding that schools throughout the country faced various challenges that included maintenance of property and lack of discipline by some students.
He urged the private sector and communities to play a role in making sure that there is identification of opportunities where difference can be made.
The event was part of the Tati Nickel Mining Company’s corporal social responsibility named Results Improvement Initiative, which was aimed at highlighting the importance of science and mathematics subjects.
Tati Nickel has also been engaged in seven million Pula worth improvement projects for Junior and Secondary Schools and turning out 9 of these school projects into centers of excellence in mathematics and science.
The programmes included in these phases are library management and security systems, computers with internet connectivity, textbooks and computer software for mathematics and science.