Palapye — The refurbishment of Palapye Senior Secondary School library fits perfectly into national aspirations calling for the nation to be a knowledgeable society, says Minister of Mineral Resources, Energy Green Technology and Energy Security Mr Lefoko Moagi.
Speaking at the handing over of the P600 000 project financed by Morule Coal Mine (MCM), Mr Moagi said the envisioned society required relevant quality education that was outcome-based with emphasis on technical and vocational skills, academic competencies and education with production.
He emphasised that education was fundamental to national development and a key priority in the national agenda.
Minister Moagi said education was a targeted area for investment in human capital development and the facilitation of growing a knowledge based economy in Botswana.
He said Parliament had recently awarded a large share of the 2021/2022 budget to the Ministry of Basic Education which was however insufficient to cover the ministry's needs adding that it was through gestures of companies such as MCM that shortfalls were mitigated.
"As a ministry, we take pride in the contribution by our mining houses towards the overall development of our country. We believe that this is the right direction to help enhance socio-economic, financial and other benefits to Botswana arising from exploitation of our mineral resources," he said.
Mr Moagi stated that the library served as a store house for knowledge and ensured that students had equitable access to resources especially in the constantly changing technology environment.
He said that now that the library had been refurbished, the community, businesses and organisations should help to equip it.
The minister commended the mine's efforts noting that it was not the first education project MCM had undertaken.
Others included a classroom block at Ratsie Setlhako Primary School in Palapye for special needs pupils, adoption of Sehunou Primary School and provision of study materials such as computers and television sets to several schools within the Central District.
For his part, MCM acting managing director, Mr Matthews Bagopi said the company was committed to creating a lasting positive contribution to the country and communities in the area it operated.
He said the company had been active in socio-economic development by increasing local procurement, developing youth through external capacity development and through partnership with UNDP.
"We engage our suppliers in a bid to develop them and make them competitive and understand the business of managing contracts," he said.
As part of the organisation's corporate social responsibility, MCM also covered areas such as education, sports, arts, culture and community development, Mr bagopi said.
He said the mine had recently established a citizen economic empowerment programme to increase the participation of SMME's in the organisation's value chain.
"MCM is committed to ensuring sustainable stakeholder engagements, creation of local employment and business opportunities that support sustainable development driven by our social economic development programme," he said.
Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), Mascom Wireless, Komatsu, Sesiro Insurance, Stanbic Bank, Botswana Cycling Association as well as MCM's cycling challenge also contributed to the project.
Source : BOPA