Botswana: Wildlife Institute Offers Polers Professional Training

Maun — In an effort to promote the use of indigenous knowledge, Botswana Wildlife Training Institute (BWTI) has invited mokoro polers, tour guides to apply for examinations in order to operate as professionals.

BWTI is a government funded facility under Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) that offers training for the workforce in the wildlife and tourism industry.

It specialises in training of individuals whose interest is saving natural environment and the creature that inhabit it.

Head of department of Exams and Curriculum from BWTI, Ms Omphile Samapodisa revealed in an interview that the examination scheduled for November this year is meant to test candidates' competence and make some recommendations to be issued with licenses to operate as professionals in the tourism sector.

She acknowledged that some had been applying their indigenous knowledge especially mokoro polers which they acquired from their parents.

Interested candidates, she said would be examined in Setswana and English languages adding that they were to do practical at the river.

To meet requirements for examinations, candidates must be above 18 years of age, possessing a BGCSE certificate or certificate in wildlife management and conservation from BWTI or similar/equivalent qualification from other recognised institutions, a valid driver's license and traceable references of work experience.

Ms Samapodisa also stated that the arrangement of examining candidates had been doing well noting that they advertise for the examinations every quarter.

She said they had been receiving a high number of applications ranging between 200 and 500, a sign that the initiative was producing positive results.

She said there had been a reduction of numbers in the hunters section because of the hunting ban.

The examinations are conducted four times in a year and the last examinations would be held on November this year.

She said initially the institute had been offering a six months course on professional tour guiding, which upon completion, candidates were issue certificates and there was recommendation that the candidates be issued with licenses.

Source: BOPA

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