MAUN, BOTSWANA – An alignment of curriculum with industry expectations and experience is a fundamental resource to enhance productivity, and consequently a key component of tourism development.
These were words shared by the Botswana Accountancy College, Industry Engagement Manager, Dr Lisbon Ketshabile to the tourism industry players recently.
In achieving this noble development, Dr Ketshabile said there is need for capacity building of students to develop requisite skills and competencies to contribute to development and growth of the sector.
Also critical is the need to have a, “continuous linkages with industry to review curriculum to align with skills demand and business local and international trends. Strategic partnerships with industry to provide opportunities for student attachment and internship such that they gain practical experience.”
It is also of importance to train students to understand and explore various forms of tourism and how they can contribute to the diversification of the economy, which currently is most reliant on diamonds mining.
The training will further provide students with comprehensive knowledge, professional and practical skills to be employable and or venture into their own business.
Botswana has for the longest time been ranked poorly in productivity and work ethics, by the world competitiveness reports, these remain the burning issues for the business community at large. There is still high expenditure on education but low quality, low relevance, lack of soft skills. Graduates form tertiary institutions are termed to be too theoretical than more practical training.
It is for these reasons that the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) will come up with a one-stop-shop for employment/unemployment trends, rate of skill-job vacancy mismatches, educational attainment and illiteracy, wages and compensation costs as well as sector-employment-intensity.
HRDC objectively looks to provide policy advice on all matters of the National Human Resource Development; Co-ordinate and promote the implementation of the National Human Resource Development Strategy; Prepare the National Human Resource Development Plans; and Plan and advice on tertiary education financing and workplace learning.
The HRDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Raphel Dingalo revealed that part of the Council’s agenda going forward is to develop memorandum of Understandings and Agreements with stakeholders by 31st March 2019.
Such stakeholders include, Tertiary Education Institutions, Botswana Unified Revenue Services, Statistics Botswana, Department of Public Service Management, Ministry of Education and Skills Development amongst others.
“We will also put in place ICT equipment and system necessary by 31st March 2019 and test and pilot the Labour Market Observatory system and rollout by 31st July 2019,” said Dr Dingalo.
LMO was launched in 2010 to ensure collection of all information regarding the labour market; analysis of information; storage of information in a systematic and easily retrievable manner; updating of information and making forecasts and information dissemination.
Going forward, Dr Ketshabile called on the need for an alliance between business and education to meet to align skills required with curriculum as well as the diverse career opportunities in the tourism industry.
“A formalized partnership between academics and BTO as destination management will be instrumental in linking academic research with industry needs to ensure research conducted at tertiary education can provide impactful solutions to grow the industry,” he said.