Job market shuns technical college graduates

The structure of learning at technical colleges disadvantages its graduates in the work market.

Unyepo Chiparo, an officer at Gaborone Universal College of Law and Professional Studies, said the job market favours the university graduates than their colleagues from the less fancy colleges.

Addressing participants at the Botswana Tertiary Education Conference held at Boipuso hall this week, Chiparo said that the programmes offered at technical colleges focus mainly on hard skills than soft skills.

He said these programmes focus on skills like carpentry, and mechanics while ignoring computer skills, communication skills and others.

“The teaching curriculum of technical colleges should be reviewed and relevant stakeholders should take part in making the new teaching curriculum, the other factor is that the learning is too theoretical than practical,” he said.

Chirapo said the equipment the students use in technical colleges is outdated thus they struggle using equipment in the working industry that has more advanced technology. He also said the curriculum of these institutions is outdated and should be updated.

He noted that youth employability is the key sustainable development as it brings harmony in the stakeholder policies and initiatives. Therefore, noted Chirapo, it was important to develop future leaders rather than inviting youth to enroll in poverty eradication programmes that are not sustainable.

“The youth should be trained to be leaders so they can provide job opportunities to others, the number of young people in the Ipelegeng programme is saddening enough,” he said.

One student from Shoshong Technical College agreed with Chirapo’s assertion, saying they are bound to fail their examinations as they use old equipment in their classroom, while they are examined with new equipment.  “We use old engines when we do our practicals but we are examined with new engines from the Central Transport Office (CTO), the minute we finish our exams the equipment is taken back to the CTO, and we are bound to fail because we are being examined on the equipment we are not familiar with,” he said.

The three-day conference that was held under the theme ‘Promoting Human Resources Development and Employability Through Technical, Vocational Education and Training Skills’ ended on Wednesday while the Tertiary Education Fair will run until this evening.

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