The Managing Director of Botswana Ash (BOTASH), Montwedi Mphathi, has attacked the local education system for producing poor quality graduates who do not have sufficient skills required in the workplace.
Giving his presentation during the recent BOCCIM National Business Conference, which was held in Francistown last week, Mphathi said that although the government is injecting huge funds into the education sector, it is not getting the value for its money.
“As the private sector, we continue to experience problems with graduates from local institutions because they do not have adequate skills to meet the demands of the workplace. We have such a problem, especially in the mining industry,” he said.
He added that although there have been several reforms to try and address the challenge, the problem persists. He further said that the decline of education quality in the country remains a serious concern.
“One concern is that employers end up spending much time to train some of these graduates,” he said.
Mphathi advised that the sponsorship of students by government should be based on current anticipated work demands. He further lambasted the government for not consulting the private sector when implementing education programmes.
“Another major concern is that recommendations to government for reforms in most cases are always partially implemented,” he added.
He said that a recent survey of the vocational training facilities has revealed challenges, ranging from teachers in some institutions not having practical skills to the automatic promotion of students in schools without much emphasis on grades obtained especially in primary schools. He said the quality of education in that regard then suffers, which then results in learners not getting quality education.
“The other problem is that teaching has become more theoretical than practical which also negates the quality of skills and education required from these graduates,” Mphathi added.
Mphathi further attacked some employers in the country for refusing to attach students saying that it also impacts on the quality of skills as they do not gain experience. He said that the mining industry continues to be one of the major sectors that absorbs a huge number of students for internship to gain experience.
“Attachments are one of the best opportunities for students to gain experience,” he said.