Botswana: Govt to Improve Vocational Education Quality

Jwaneng — Government will ensure that brigades produce quality graduates that are also relevant to the market, Vice President, Mr Slumber Tsogwane has said.

Addressing Jwaneng Technical College (JTC) students, who boycotted classes last week, Mr Tsogwane said government would also ensure that enrolment at brigades and technical colleges should be by choice and not circumstances.

Such, he said, informed government to re-shape brigades as well as technical colleges to bring in different courses.

"This then means that a lot of work has to be done in accreditation of both material and the teaching staff," he said.

He advised students to continue attending classes while the process of accreditation was ongoing. He also told them that government would ensure that pending courses were accredited before students finished their foundation level.

"We will make sure that accreditation of courses is done by September this year before your completion at the end the year. We will try with all we can to speed up the process," he said.

That, Mr Tsogwane said, was because government was taking seriously issues raised by students such as shortage of workshop equipment and unaccredited courses.

He added that he would meet with the relevant minister and permanent secretary before briefing the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi about their issues.

Mr Tsogwane also indicated a need to address the concerns quickly since they had the potential to derail the students' future.

"Our desire is to mould you into future leaders and responsible citizens, so it is up to you to also behave because your parents are also concerned about your future. They have high expectations of you. No parent desires a delinquent child," he said.

Thus, he urged them to always discuss issues of concern cordially with the college management or write to the ministry if they felt they were not being properly assisted rather than boycotting classes.

"It is not possible for one to have everything they desire. Even at home we have shortages, but we never go violent," he said.

Mr Tsogwane further advised them to choose their future carefully and avoid being misled by outsiders.

He also assured them that the Students Representative Council (SRC) would be given another chance after their recent suspension.

Students boycotted classes last week citing failure by the management as well as the ministry to address their issues.

The principal, Ms Gracious Motlokwa indicated in her welcome remarks that the college had a total enrolment of 1 102 students across all programmes with a total number of staff at 43.

Ms Motlokwa, however, said they recently received eight additional lecturers, and that they were awaiting 19 more to report this week.

She also said the college had 360 boarding slots, 17 classrooms, seven laboratories and eight workshops.

Source : BOPA

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