Botswana: Schools to Offer Tourism, Hospitality Subjects

Maun — Maun Senior Secondary School is expected to offer tourism and hospitality subjects once the Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP) is implemented next year.

ETSSP aims to focus on lifelong learning, developing new and alternative pathways for education, strengthening skills development and improving quality, relevance, equity and access to education.

The school head, Ms Selebatso Modisaemang revealed that two senior secondary schools being Maun and Matshekge in Bononong had been chosen to pilot the programme.

She said Matshekge School was expected to offer agriculture subjects while Maun would offer tourism and hospitality noting that the decision was based on what was available in such areas.

She said a lot of progress had been achieved as far as the ETTSP was concerned as training of school heads had been done and those teaching the subjects would soon meet to kick start the exercise.

Ms Modisaemang said the government intention was to implement the programme next year if things go as planned. She pleaded with teachers to up their game in order to achieve the intended outcome of ETSSP.

The policy is expected to address challenges from the education ministry's strategic plan and the key national development goal of the plan is to move from a resource-driven economy to a highly diversified knowledge-based one.

Botswana Open University regional manager in Maun, Ms Boipelo Kesamang said the teaching profession had laid a foundation for all other professions noting that teachers should be proud of their profession.

Teaching, she said had helped shape a lot of characters, calibers, orientations and futures of individuals. "I greatly attribute t the profession as being more of a vocation.

Teaching is a vocation, a calling of a high level that no one can adequately fathom or even attempt to describe its influence in exact terms," she said.

Ms Kesamang urged teachers not to lose focus but rather trace back their steps to early reforms in the education sector as they would realise that their fathers were visionary about taking the country, its citizens and teaching profession forward.

She cited the appointment of the first National Commission on Education in 1976 to review the education system with a mandate to formulate the country's philosophy of education and set goals for the development of education and training.

The outcome of the Commissions' work, she said was the first National Policy of Education of 1977, Education for Social Harmony (Education for Kagisanyo) which was instrumental in shaping up the democratic principles and vision that of making education accessible to a much wider section of the population allowing all to break away from the pre-independence education system.

In addition, she observed that social justice was embodied in the vision which has since informed other policies of significance in the life of a teacher and a student citing the Vision 2016: Towards prosperity for all, ETSSP and The Revised National Policy on Education of 1994 respectively.

Ms Kesamang said the ETSSP seeks to address identified gaps such as training versus job market mis-match adding that it also strives to align with emerging societal needs.

Any country which seeks to become part of the globalised knowledge economy, she said has to produce a new generation of knowledge workers hence an urgent need to invest in the education and training sector.

She appreciated challenges faced by teachers but advised them to get ready to respond to the call as they are key transformational agents.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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