MAUN: Maun Senior Secondary School has been earmarked to pilot a multiple pathways program focusing on Hotel and Tourism as part of the Ministry of Basic Education strategy to improve learner capabilities while they decide on their choice of careers.
Speaking at learner profiling workshop on Monday, Basic Education chief executive officer (Secondary) Innocent Kologwe said the school will take its first batch of 120 students next year January adding a new strand to the normal subjects offered at senior secondary schools.
Since this is a new programme in Botswana’s education system, he said the school will first and foremost profile students for new strands to establish who amongst them is interested or understands what the program entails and what is expected of them as a pilot group.
The profiling is set to include students from all feeder Junior Secondary Schools in Maun and surrounding areas and will focus mostly on their learning capabilities and a few other aspects.
Kologwe further noted that there will be a double fold in 2022 as a total of 240 more students are expected to benefit from the long awaited programme. He said other regions across the country will also benefit from their type of pathways in the future and that this will be determined by economic activities nearer to them.
“We envisage ten more subjects which will add to this programe since we intend to unbundle it for purposes of including even more students and strands. They will be expected to pick other supporting subjects as it is norm, but we believe Hospitality and Tourism alone has the ability to take them to greater heights since it is the main activity in this region. Our aim is to perfect this, and we remain hopeful that we will succeed with support from all concerned stakeholders,” said Kologwe.
North West Regional Director Veronicah Letlhare noted that the ministry has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a number of hotels and lodges in Maun as they have pledged support and will as a result be working alongside each other to make the pilot exercise a success.
As it stands now, she said plans are underway to register Maun Secondary as a training centre and for Hospitality and Tourism teachers to be registered as trainers.
“Positions have been availed already and awaiting to be filled. In-service training for these teachers is ongoing as we want them to produce the best crop from this region,” she said.
As long as infrastructure is concerned, Letlhare said the construction of a mini hotel has started at the school and is expected to be ready by January 2021 when the program kick-starts. She stated also that plans are underway to further consult the village leadership as well as all of their stakeholders as they believe the program is going to add value to the tourism sector in Ngamiland as a whole, not for leisure only but for purposes of learning as well. “We are going to prepare a variety of packages so that our learners may have options. This will in a way help them identify their paths at an early stage, we want to capacitate them so that they can be independent and be ready for the job market even if they don’t go to tertiary school,” she says.