The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the government to fast-track some of the projects aimed at diversifying the economy.
One such project, aims at making Botswana a Knowledge-Based economy, is the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The initiative has already received support from the European Union (EU). The ambassador of the EU to Botswana Jan Sadek handed over a cheque worth P26.2 million to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development towards TVET reforms in Botswana recently.
The handover ceremony was witnessed by the ambassador of Germany to Botswana Ralf Breth, the ambassador of France to Botswana Laurence Beau, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Thapelo Matsheka and permanent secretary from the ministry of basic education.
The COVID-19 pandemic was highlighted as the main reason for expediting the disbursement under the support programme funded under the European Development Fund (EDF) 11. It waives the conditions attached to the disbursement to support government’s COVID-19 response. The budget for the programme is worth P170 million and it is aimed at serving two items - the budget support valued at P135 million while P35 million is allocated for technical assistance and is provided by Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internatinationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and co-funded by the German government to the tune of P42 million.
Another stakeholder, Ministry of Basic Education Deputy Permanent Secretary, Policy Development Research and Education Reforms, Miriam Maroba said implementation of the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) caters for, among others,
“The Budget Support Programme by the European Union to the Government of Botswana is meant for the on-going implementation of the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme,” said Maroba. She further said the introduction of the pathways would commence through a phased-in approach. It would be such that the first learners would be enrolled in January 2021 at Maun Senior Secondary for the Hospitality & Tourism while Moeng College would deliver Animal Husbandry, Horticulture and Crop Production. Speaking at the occasion, Sadek said: “By disbursing P26.2 million today we are not only supporting the COVID-19 immediate response, but through our TVET programme we are supporting skills development in order to increase employability of the young graduates, boost country’s competitiveness and reduce poverty”.
In his appreciation message, Matsheka expressed gratitude towards the EU for the continuous support in different sectors of the economy including various reforms in the country. He highlighted that the support comes at an important time as the country grapples with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 as it would equally assist in the educational sector reforms.