It gives me great pleasure to be a part of this auspicious occasion. Let me start by thanking Majwe Mining Joint Venture and the Excellence Awards working committee for organizing this auspicious event themed; Collaborative Support for Students’ Academic Excellence.
This activity is a practical implementation of Ministry of Education and Skills Development’s initiative of Adopt a School for which companies are requested to choose a school, a brigade or a college that they will adopt and identify areas of collaboration. Majwe Mining Joint Venture pledged to sponsor not one but all seven schools in the Jwaneng Township and Maokane village.
I am reliably informed that the company has undertaken to sponsor all students’ prizes during Prize Giving Ceremonies, over three years to the tune of one million pula. Each year will culminate with a Combined Majwe Academic Excellence Awards Prize Giving Ceremony akin to the one we are launching today. The ultimate one taking place in 2015, the year at which the Millenium Development Goals should have been met and one year short of realizing the National Goal of an educated, informed nation.
The Ministry Of Education and Skills Development came up with the ”Adopt-a-School” initiative because, among other reasons they believed that community involvement with schools could add to the quality of the schools’ core business and also make a difference in the students’ academic achievement. Essential, motivational activities such as prize giving events have been the preserve of school Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) as the ministry could not budget for them, a mammoth and trying task for most PTAs; further amplifying the gratitude that the schools involved in this partnership must be feeling. I am informed that this is not the first investment that Majwe Mining had contributed to Educational needs in Jwaneng and surrounding areas and I highly commend them for their exemplary efforts.
Let me take this opportunity to implore the Jwaneng business community to emulate Majwe Mining Joint Venture; identify a school, find areas of collaboration and assist the school by providing resources [material or financial] that can assist schools in basic areas of need. Successful businesses know that good schools, education and their products are an investment worth making. Through programs from these schools such as educational tours, career fairs and job shadowing; businesses help students to discover their talents, abilities and skills, and further learn how to apply lessons learned during these programmes in the classroom. Potential for further collaboration that both the business community and the schools can benefit from. Let this event serve as an inspiration to you all towards the education of children.
I cannot emphasis this enough; businesses play an important role in our schools. Their involvement demonstrates to students, parents, teachers and the rest of the community that they are committed to education and to the future leaders of this country. It takes a village to raise a child, thus the whole community has an essential role to play in the growth and the development of its young people. In addition to the tireless efforts made by the teachers in the children’s education at schools, community leaders and parents too have the responsibility to assure high quality education for all the children in their communities. I am informed that His Worship the Mayor of Jwaneng came up with an initiative called Mayor’s Candle Light which is also intended to motivate students in academic excellence. A noble and highly commendable gesture.
7. To the parents, yours is a mammoth task. Parental involvement in schools is essential in ensuring students succeed at all levels of education, and this is basically referred to:
? Parents meeting with teachers occasionally to discuss expectations and monitoring their children’s academic progress
? Students consolidating their studies at home under supervision of their parents
? Parents actively participating in school activities linked to students achievement and school success
? The parents should actually realise that being involved in their children’s education, both in the classroom and beyond sends a powerful message to their children about the importance of going to school and making a concerted effort in all they do.
Students, the Ministry Of Education and Skills Development has launched yet another initiative called Excellence awards and High Achievers Awards as part of its on ÔÇô going efforts to encourage students who excel in their education at various levels. In so far as the High/Top Achievers awards are concerned it is important to realise that only students who excel during their secondary school leaving examinations qualify for those awards and therefore, are entitled to choose reputable training institutions outside Botswana for further studies. Some students have already started their scholarship offers as part of this arrangement overseas. Majwe Mining Venture has created a platform for you to compete and excel. Take advantage of it so that you become the top achievers from this town, after completing your secondary education, and benefit under this post – secondary scholarship award category.
*This was a key note address by M.E. K. Masisi, Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, at Majwe Mining Joint Venture Academic Excellence Awards held in Jwaneng on October 19.