Plan Supports Vocational Training

| June 11, 2015

The Education and Training Strategic Sector Plan (ETSSP) will usher in a learner-centred education system that will be highly supportive of students gifted in areas outside academics.

The Minister of Education and Skills Development, Dr Unity Dow, said at a kgotla meeting in Mathubudukwane on June 8 that students would have an opportunity to do either academics or vocational subjects starting at junior secondary school.

Dr Dow said students who at times fail ed form three school-leaving examinations were disaantaged despite the talents they might have in other fields, including vocational subjects.

She told the residents that the programme sought to address rampant unemployment among the youth by training them in the fields of their choice so that they venture into business, thereby creating employment.

She further disclosed that they are in talks with local universities, among them Botho University and New Era, to provide Botswana Qualifications Authority-accredited courses to train students in vocational fields. Dr Dow said that by January 2016, a record 20 000 students will be taken back to school to be trained on vocational courses.

The education minister added that the point system has been revised to cater for those who did not do well academically so as to enable them to progress on to vocational training. She said that such training would help address shortage of skills manpower while creating a database for future engagements.

Dr Dow also said another programme in the offing is the introduction of pre-schools at primary school level across the country.

“By 2018, all children will have to go through pre-school before doing standard one. We have to identify children’s talent at a young age so that they can be aligned to what they do best,” she said.

She asked all stakeholders to work closely with her ministry for the programme to see the light of day, adding that they will need help with facilities to accommodate the children in cases where schools do not have them.

The minister implored the residents to work closely with schools so that their children’s academic results improve. Earlier when welcoming the minister and her entourage, Kgosi Michael Balebetse of Mmathubudukwane reiterated the need for parents to take part in their children’s education.

He urged parents to be good role models to their children.

In response, the residents applauded government for coming up with an education plan that includes all and give their children a chance to pursue what they like most. Ms Lemme Kgafela said they have been struggling to pay children’s school fees at private pre-schools and the plan to start government pre-schools will help them greatly.

She said vocational training will address the lack of employment among the youth as it will equip them to run their own businesses. Another resident, Mr Pusong Ratsie asked the minister not to forget the special education unit, as they also want it to be supported as well.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: News

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