The Minister of Education, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has allayed fears over the current sponsorship crisis bedeviling her ministry, saying all potential new university students entrants, including those in the private institutions, would now be sponsored by the government.
First year university students’ educational prospects lingered in limbo in the last few weeks as the Ministry of Education indicated it would not sponsor most of the students, citing insufficient funds.
This resulted in the agitated parents and students nearly storming parliament in protest on Friday.
However, Venson-Moitoi on Monday assured parliament her ministry had subsequently secured funds from different ministries to sponsor all potential university students who have applied for admissions, including those from the private tertiary schools.
“Following some deep concerns over students’ sponsorship, which resulted in some agitated parents and students nearly storming parliament for assistance, my ministry has at last found some remedies to sponsor students by way of tapping money from different ministries. My ministry has solicited P365 million from different ministries, which will be used to sponsor these students,” she told parliament, adding that the same money would also be used to “sponsor students from private tertiary schools”.
From both public and private institutions this academic season, the Ministry of Education had targeted to sponsor a total of 11 886.
While the university of Botswana had indicated a total of 4 336 as their capacity for first year students, the government had offered to sponsor 3 462 under different programmes.
“In deciding this quota, the ministry selected the following priority areas: business, engineering and technology, health sciences, fine arts, law and social work. The numbers in each category were given to UB to guide them in their admission of students wishing to seek government sponsorship,” she said to parliament in a statement.