The Botswana government is owed millions of pula by former students who were sponsored for various tertiary education courses and university education.
Mothusi Ntikile, the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development was, however, not able to state an exact amount that they are owed but said that it is in the millions of pula.
Ntikile said that most of those owing are working for companies, are self-employed or those who have remained outside the country after completion of their studies.
“Skilled people, like doctors who have decided not to return to Botswana after completion of their courses, are amongst the difficult people we are not able to trace and who have cost the government a lot of money,” he said.
Ntikile said that, in this regard, they have approached Botswana’s foreign offices for their assistance in collecting the money they are owed by the students.
He also said that the Ministry is thinking about approaching the legislators to ask them to come up with a piece of legislation that will allow BURS to collect money from those who owe them.
He conceded that the job might have been easier if it was done by private companies, adding that it might happen in future.
Asked when he thinks the Ministry will start receiving applications from those who wish to re-sit and who want to be reinstated into various institutions of higher learning, Ntikile said that it will only happen after the next financial year.
Recently, thousands of would be students were left disappointed after the Ministry’s announcement that they have stopped accepting applications for re-sits and re-intakes.