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Gov’t set to increase sponsorship intake

Publishing Date : 08 April, 2019

Author : KENNETH MOSEKIEMANG

Minster of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng has announced that government will increase the number of sponsored students from 11, 998 in the year 2017/18 to 13,490 students for 2018/2019 placement.


Olopeng who was officiating at the official opening Botswana Human Resource Development Skills (BHRD) Fair and Career Guidance Clinics said in a bid to transform Botswana’s economy from resourced based to knowledge based, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has challenged institutions of higher learning to review and develop programmes that are futuristic and relevant to the needs of the industry.  


“The areas that have been prioritised for training are Health, Engineering, Professional Accounting, Finance and Business. We believe this will help the country to increase the number of industry specific skills to improve the chances of our graduates being globally competitive,” he shared. Olopeng said the government is now focusing on training graduates who can export their skills into the global markets and thus helping in diversifying the economy from the resourced based to knowledge based.    


He further said as it stands there are 35 777 students who are under government sponsorship, including 522 students who are studying abroad. Olopeng said his ministry was allocated total of P4.5 billion from 2019/2020 budget and some of the money will be used achieve sustainable quality education, increase skills pool in the areas that have been identified as critical diversify the economy; and to ensure inclusive education and training system.


Minister said the establishment of Botswana International University Science and Technology (BIUST), the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) are just a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to research, science, technology and innovation. He said the institutions have the mandate to lead this country into innovation, which is a resultant of good academic, operational and industry linked research.


For the 2018/2019, the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology together with Department of tertiary Education financing (DTEF) has issued out cut points of 36 points for the undergraduates. Olopeng commended the private sector for their contribution to education and training. “There is no doubt that Botswana’s Private Sector involvement in education and training has helped to increase the level of financial resources committed to the sector and supplemented the limited capacity of Government institutions to absorb growing demand, “he said.

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