A call by Member of Parliament for Nata-Gweta Polson Majaga that Government should consider re-admitting all Brigades and vocational education Centre students as a matter of urgency is probably going to be impractical, Botswana Guardian has established.
Majaga last week presented this motion which was supported by many MPs including those from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). the talk on the motion is predicted to continue in Parliament today (Friday).
While this might be seen as an honest motion brought at the proper time especially being supported also by cabinet, Botswana Guardian has found that this may just only raise hopes of students’ while on the bottom things tells a special story.
The issue of admitting students to brigades has been a thorny one since it first came to play when government admitted many students to brigades and technical colleges while the institutions weren’t in any good state to admit the scholars thanks to lack of kit , adequate space, unaccredited courses by Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) and while the syllabus was still under review for re-alignment.
Vocational educational training as a practical learning needs equipment in workshops, something this publication has established could only happen next year.
Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Mpho Balopi whose ministry houses these institutions supported the motion adding that it’s government’s intention to make sure that the scholars are given the education they deserve.
He said the will is to make sure that students get qualifications and skills that meet the industry demands. “We aren’t taking the education of our youngsters without any consideration .
In the past some courses weren’t accredited while other institutions didn’t offer the courses that prospective students had applied for. the scholars who are admitted and their courses weren’t accredited or were admitted at institutions that don’t offer their courses of choice will still have their placement available. this is often because they’re protected by the BQA Learner Protection Regulation of 2016,” Balopi said.
Botswana Guardian can reveal that the readmission of scholars on urgency is way fetched as some technical colleges and brigades haven’t any equipment.
In fact, government through the Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development late last year floated tenders for equipment with the second publication of the tenders made within the Government Gazette of August 2020. deadline for submission for bidders was August 21st 2020.
The Ministerial Tender Committee has published tenders for Supply, Delivery, Installation and Commissioning of Equipment- for various courses within the Department of Skills Development Institutions. it’s alleged that this might even be a headache for the govt because the buying of the equipment is occurring at the time when the curriculum isn’t yet ready.
Balopi who is additionally MP for Gaborone North said 8325 students were admitted while 4703 couldn’t be admitted into vocational institutions.
He said this represent 50 percents of these who are admitted.
According to Balopi his ministry next year will admit 2324 while the Tertiary Department of Education under the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology will take 5000 and 1079 are going to be taken to non-public institutions.
“We are going to be taking these students to non-public institutions through an equivalent arrangement we’ve been having as government. In our interactions with the private institutions we’ve been made aware that for a duration of a course one student will need P20 000.00.
“In that case we’ve put aside P22 million to hide that cost. There are 800 more students who didn’t have the minimum entry requirements. These people are going to be admitted at Rapid Skills Centers under the development Industry fund (CITF),” revealed Balopi.
Majaga’s motion was alleged to are tabled during the Budget Speech Parliamentary Session but the session ended before it might be tabled.