President Ian Khama yesterday made a historic visit to Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) where praise singing reigned supreme for his administration and vice versa.
In turn, Khama who had never before visited any higher learning institution since assuming office, gave glowing accolades to the Malaysian-born establishment for its role in the local tertiary education sphere.
The occasion, whose agenda seemed to be appreciation and thanksgiving, opened with a choir made up of 100 performing arts students whose passport to the institution was the Target 20,000 programme.
This is an initiative by minister of Education and Skills Development (MoESD), Unity Dow; aimed at ‘upskilling and upgrading unemployed youth’, and encouraging all unemployed youth to take up identified training programmes.
LUCT, together with six other private institutions - Botho University, Ba Isago University, New Era College, ABM University, Gaborone University College, Entrepreneurial Agricultural Techniques and Boitekanelo College have partnered with government to implement the programme.
Limkokwing vice chancellor, Cedric Bell expressed delight “to be appointed as a strategic partner in relation to Your Excellency’s government Target 20,000 initiative.”
“Perhaps Your Excellency might think of engaging the choir for some of the upcoming Botswana 50 celebrations as a national choir?” asked Bell.
Moreover, Bell said Khama’s visit “showcased to you the range of the most ‘high tech’ facilities in tertiary institutions in Botswana and examples of student work…”
Adding, “…facilities and commitment that have already delivered to the nation of Botswana over 8,000 graduates and which is facilitating the ongoing social and economic transformation of the economy under Your Excellency’s inspired, focused and committed leadership.”
For his part Khama likened the institution to some wonderful place that citizens hear about from
He called the establishment “a jewel of an institution”, and wondered why it had taken him long to visit the university.
Moreover, he gave accolades for the “keenest dedication and vibrancy” LUCT ushered. Khama also said he was proud to be part of a government that sends students to “such institutions”.
He further committed to putting more money towards education coffers as he was now enlightened and understood why the education minister always cries of insufficient budget.
“We need to bend over backwards in order to put many of our young people through such institutions,” he said.
He urged graduates to put whatever they learn at the institution to practice.
Khama said LUCT is an important player towards building an informed Botswana.
“I would like to assure you that government will continue to prioritise education to ensure the quality life of Batswana,” he said.
The President was accompanied by Minister Dow, assistant minister Moiseraela Goya, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, Thato Ramokate, deputy permanent secretary for information and broadcasting service, Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo - who is also Limkokwing Botswana council chairperson and senior private secretary to the President, George Tlhwalerwa.
Critical partners in education finance, Department of Tertiary Education Finance and Botswana Qualifications Authority were also represented at the event where no exchanges occurred between President Khama and the learners, save for two students who presented speeches of gratitude for sponsorship and towards the University for its provision of education.