It is reassuring to learn that the two institutions overseeing tertiary institutions in Botswana, the Botswana Training Authority (BOTA) and the Tertiary Education Council (TEC) will soon merge into one institution, with the appointment of a transitional council, the Human Resource Development Advisory Council now imminent.
The news could not have come at a better time, especially as there exists two institutions - BOTA and TEC - which work separately.
While TEC registered institutions have been enjoying government sponsorship, it has not been the case with BOTA registered institutions, most of which belong to Batswana.
This has also meant that tertiary education has been limited to academic and degree courses while technical and trades education has been left in the lurch for lack of sponsorship.
Since many Batswana depend on government sponsorship for further education the lack of sponsorship led to only a few students doing those courses.
There have been concerns about the separate methods of keeping oversight between TEC and BOTA.
Furthermore it was becoming a nightmare trying to decipher where the mandate of BOTA ends and where that of TEC starts.
We can only hope that the merger of BOTA and TEC will result in the creation of an all encompassing policy which will be used to address challenges faced by our local institutions.
We also hope that whatever policy is eventually created will not result in closing down of the already existing institutions, but rather, helping them improve their organisational capacity, eventually turning this country into an education hub for the region and the continent.
The incorporation of these two bodies into a larger body should further help guide, in a cohesive way, the critical area of tertiary education in this country. This country, on its way to development, requires an education platform that can take on board the needs of the economy and country and guide the overall system.
"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." William Butler Yeats
quotes (Irish prose Writer, -Dramatist and Poet)