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MoESD should be split into two

After signing into law the Ministerial Offices Amendment Bill last week, it is just a matter of Ĺwhenĺ that President Ian Khama increases his cabinet from 16 to 18.

What remains unclear though is whom the ruling party is going to nominate for the two positions of Specially Elected Member of Parliament (SEMP) and what the reshuffled cabinet will look like.

Many however expect the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) to be split into two to make it manageable and yield good results from primary school to tertiary institutions and beyond. Experts have always argued that the ministry is just too big and could not be run efficiently in its current form.

In fact, the declining standard of education at every level has been blamed on the current set-up.

Moreover, the ministry has for years been tagged the “exit” point for politicians, many of whom have either retired, or lost elections, among them Dr Gaositwe Chiepe and Jacob Nkate, after serving there.  It was during Nkate’s time when the government started sending hundreds of young Batswana to institutions of learning abroad in Malaysia, Australia and South Africa. As many students in foreign institutions faced a whole lot of problems, millions of pula were lost to corruption or maladministration.

It was not just outside, as problems of sponsorship continue to persist even after many local institutions started receiving government sponsorships.


this month, the University of Botswana students have been up in arms with the ministry withdrawing sponsorship for certain courses, thus disadvantaging hundreds of first year students. In all fairness, the ministry has been too big, with bigger problems to be under one roof. 

The new law - while it was one of the contentious ones having recently been passed under the strain of midnight debate - gives the President the opportunity to finally be split the ministry into Lower and Higher Education during the ninth Parliament Our hope is that the President will give priority to this move.

Secondly, the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources has one of the most complex portfolios as it entails mining, electricity production and distribution, as well as water distribution.

These are three foundations of our economy concentrated under the care of one minister, which is not only stressing, but also dangerous for the competence of our economy.

tunities. All these require a dedicated political leadership with expertise.

We hope that the President will consider some of the aforementioned issues as he reshuffles his cabinet to accommodate the two new SEMPs.

Today’s thought

“With proper governance, life will improve for all.” 

– Benigno Aquino III


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