Over 1 700 graduate

| September 21, 2015

A total of 1 762 graduands were conferred with diplomas at the fifth combined graduation for affiliated institutions of the University of Botswana.

At least 1 073 graduands at the Friday ceremony (September 18) were from colleges of education, 528 from institutes of health sciences and 161 from Botswana College of Engineering and Technology.

Delivering a keynote address at the ceremony, the Minister of Health, Ms Dorcas Makgato, said the labour market had seen considerable progress, ranging from educational attainment to skills and development as well as improved quality of life.

She said notwithstanding this broad range of achievements, there had been a growing recognition for the transformation of tertiary education in order to produce graduates competitive enough to meet the expectations of the market. “Key to achieving this includes the presence of schools and programme with a strong emphasis on the globally relevant theme of sustainable development” said Ms Makgato.

She said government recognised that it was imperative to transform education including tertiary education and a number of policies and strategies had been developed while some were being implemented in line with this recognition.

Ms Makgato said it was vital for the country to examine closely the quality of tertiary in order to mitigate the myriad of social and economic setbacks.

She said according to the global competiveness index, out of the 12 pillars of Botswana, only pillars four and five on education and training were not doing well and this called for concern because they were the core pillars to sustainable development.

“Our maternal and infant morbidities, challenged education system, skills mismatch and unemployment bear testimony to the global competitive index grading on health and education,” Ms Makgato said.

The minister urged the leadership in tertiary education, public and private sector to collaborate and address the gap towards a robust scholarship sensitive to the country’s developmental needs and the global market at large.

“To you graduates, you have undergone years of training that surely must have brought you closer to understanding the demands of your chosen professions, that to develop in these professions you need to demonstrate a local and global competitiveness by displaying skills and competencies that are highly marketable,” she said.

Minister Makgato urged them to dedicate their acquired skill and expertise in helping the nation to realise its vision of a compassionate, just and caring nation beyond 2016 and congratulated them for the awards earned adding that they should go out there and leave their footprints in the communities they would be serving.

She commended the teaching staff and non-teaching staff to have made the day possible and the institutions for being able to produce a huge number of graduates through their commitment, sacrifice and innovation by the different faculties despite limited resources.

Category: News

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