Systems regularly get improved in order to smoothen the running of business. It is meant to address the seemingly dynamic needs of a society at any point.
If we are to get stuck to a system without due regard for a changing society, it will be akin to climbing a mango tree in search for oranges.
That would be a good recipe for stagnation and lack of growth. Education is the tool that helps predict the future. It also serves as the right instrument that can be used in preparation for that future.
Thus the education system notably the curriculum must be panel beaten consistently to deliberately try and respond to the needs of the society. Education cannot be a one fits all game.
We go to school with the hope that whatever we are going to learn should be in preparation for services that we are to offer in future. Better still to help us adapt to the prevailing circumstances now and in future.
That we are now talking Pathways in education, we ought to look into our various industries to determine which one has a potential future value. How big is the market for the industry? What are the potential employment opportunities? Tourism comes to mind immediately.
The thriving industry contributes handsomely to the economy of the country. All corners of the country showcase attractions that are unique to the area. The major attractions include game reserves and national parks, camping arts and crafts, culture, safari, chobe and Okavango delta. Potential employment opportunities are in hospitality, transportation, tour and guide, catering just to mention a few.
In 2016 Lonely Planet declared Botswana the top country in the world to visit. In its book it states thus ‘Botswana is so full of life-changing experiences that it would be easier to list the things that are not remarkable.
It has unusual combination of desert and delta that draws an immense concentration of wildlife’. Surely the future looks very good for Botswana Tourism.
Knowing this as a matter of fact, we then ought to seize the opportunity by incorporating tourism into our basic education. We should psychologically prepare our learners for employment in this industry. We cannot put it to fate that our youth will one day find themselves absorbed by the industry. Rather we should systematically develop interest and passion for them to invest in tourism. One way is by introducing a tourism pathway
Obviously we can’t expect a graduate of a secondary school to immediately run a hotel as a Managing Director but we should expect them to do a good job as a waitress at least.
We can’t expect them to run a Safari with the entire national and international relations involved, but we can expect some level of understanding in as far as touring and guiding is concerned.
Customer service and catering at least on a small scale should be basics that a form five graduate must know. Not all Senior Secondary School graduates would like to proceed in pursuing academics at university. Some want to go technical and others would prefer joining the working class. Because of that we need to provide them with basic survival skills at secondary school level.
In his interview on ENCA, 31st July 2018 Gauteng education MEC Mr Panyaza Lesufi said that they will soon be launching an Aviation School right next to OR Tambo airport.
With statistics showing them that there would be opportunities under that sector of the economy in not a distant future, they had to response accordingly. Rhodesfield Technical High school already has partnership with the airport and other industries involved with aviation.
The school won’t be graduating Aircraft Engineers but skilling learners on basics for aviation so much that those willing to start work can do so and those willing to further their studies under such areas as Aircraft Engineering can also pursue such in tertiary institutions.
Maun Secondary School can be a breeding ground for tourism Pathway. Basics such as catering, boarding and Lodging, Customer service, guiding, can all be part of the training at the school.
Partnership can be forged between the school and stakeholders such as Maun Lodge, Cresta Hotels, the airport, Safari companies, just to add some element of practice to the learners who would be enrolled under such a pathway.
Being the entrance to the delta, Maun provides that opportunity to employ its youth in large numbers under the tourism sector.