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We Are Critically Pregnant

As we await what will become a new education system both in structure and curricular, we are experiencing some challenges before delivery. These challenges are nothing but a process that we ought to go through.

It is a necessary devil that would ultimately bring out smiles on the faces of every citizen, akin to the labour pains that bring about happy moments in every human being. The envisaged education sector strategy will mark the difference between transforming the momentum into real gains as opposed to cosmetic league-table growth.

In one of my previous columns titled, ‘Is the Demand Big Enough’, I had argued that a dwarfed industrialisation suffocates developments leading to ever increasing unemployment rates. In support of this argument, I researched on the heavy public investments in infrastructure and industry which is currently a key priority for most governments on the African continent for example according to African Business Magazine for July 2018, Nigeria has this year allocated more funds to power, works and housing than the total combined for health, education and the interior.

Kenya’s allocation to energy, infrastructure and ICT last year dwarfed health, national security and environment protection.

Inspired by Europe and North America’s leap to greater prosperity through the first wave of industrialisation and more significantly the recent examples of Asian countries that are rapidly lifting millions through light manufacturing and heavy industrialisation, Africa wants to emulate.

African Development Bank (AfDB) president, Akinwumi Adesina argued that South Korea’s remarkable development was down to industrialisation pure and simple.

In this opinion, I want to flip on the other side of my posit in that submission by asking this question; Do we really have to invest so much in industry and infrastructure? Or maybe we look to investing in people through education and health? I am inclined to go for investment in education. Industrialisation presupposes that big businesses will come forth in search of cheap labour, a condition that will further increase exploitation of citizens.

Yet with the advent of technology more specifically robots the idea that human hands are needed in light manufacturing is being called to question. Investing in people by ensuring that our

education is moving with the times will capacitate adaptation in these idiosyncrasies of today’s market.

Any move that aims at advancing development of a man through education suffices as a long term human life security and insurance. I want to commend the ‘turnaround strategy’ currently being rolled out in schools. Instructional leadership, smart supervision and inspiring teachers to teach creatively and learners to learn innovatively will all lead to empowered schools and ultimately bring about good academic results.

An exceptional leader will always be an agent of change. Therefore investing in school leaderships can never be a wasted avenue. As we work towards producing 21st century learners and graduates, we have to support all initiatives that aim at bettering our system. We should not forget to commend the heads of these schools for their relentless and profound commitment to serving this country. School heads have been and will always be the rocks of every institution. Especially in current times when institutions have grown in numbers and complexity, we will need leaders who are well vested in knowledge of working with people. Leaders who will be in a position to interpret situations well and adapt accordingly.

We in Botswana are honoured to have a government that pours a lion’s share of its budget into education. Despite the fact that our education system might not necessarily be so advanced, we pride ourselves in the very fact that the will is there in the open.

Very soon an Outcome based Education system will be taking shape giving birth to a system that will be responding to a wild variety of economic needs.

The many talents that our youth possess won’t follow them to the graves, but will be systematically unleashed through the education system. Finally, I want to encourage the government departments especially the Ministry of Basic and Tertiary Education to speed up the implementation of multiple pathways. Let us deliver the baby.


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