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Last Updated
Friday 11 June 2021, 13:14 pm.
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Tertiary education fund to be outsourced

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) is looking to outsource the management of the approximately P2 billion per year tertiary education student funding.
By GOTHATAONE MOENG
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Tertiary education fund to be outsourced








A single or consortium of private sector suppliers will be identified for the job by June this year, Marcos Maedza, director of the Department of Tertiary Education Financing told Mmegi on Friday.

The tertiary education fund has made higher education accessible for hundreds of thousands of Batswana students who have been sponsored to study both within the country's tertiary institutions and in countries such as the United States of America, Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and South Africa.

Maedza said with their outsourcing of management of the fund, the ministry seeks to achieve efficiency and to re-brand the fund. "There are so many issues involved with managing the tertiary education fund, and a private company will probably come with new and better ideas," he said.

He said it is likely that the companies identified for outsourcing may be fund managers, commercial banks, debt collection services or even human resource management organisations. The ministry stated in an advertisement published in the print media that in management to the fund, additional duties will include "application processing, disbursement and debt recovery and a wide range of information support to students before, during and their education both in Botswana and

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overseas." The advertisement is a request for information from interested suppliers, and is intended to ensure there is "capacity and appetite in the private sector to undertake the work."

Maedza said in its present state, the tertiary education student fund faces many challenges. "Our challenges include issues of [debt] recovery and issues of monitoring," he said.

He pointed out that it is much easier for the department to identify former students who work within government, thus making their success rate much higher with civil service employees. "We are able to recover debt from 95 percent of government employees, because we recover money from payroll, which makes life easier.  But this is a subsidised recovery."

While helping a lot of students, the department has been embroiled in a lot of controversies, with many students accusing it of incompetence.  In 2010, over 23 officers were interdicted after investigations by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) found them having misused funds meant for sponsoring students.

In 1998, the department again faced a fiasco when it was found that some undeserving students had been sponsored for studies only because of their relationships to high profile government officials.

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