FRANCISTOWN: Lawrence Lecha, a distinguished lawyer and alumnus of Mater Spei College, has urged students to strive for academic excellence and restore their revered institution to its former glory.
Mater Spei College, historically one of the top-performing senior secondary schools in the country, faced an unexpected setback in the 2022 Botswana General Certificate Secondary School (BGCSE) results, ranking seventh nationally.
This outcome, contrary to the school's long-standing reputation as a leading institution in Botswana, has raised concerns. During the recent Mater Spei College prize-giving event, Lecha voiced his apprehensions and emphasised the need for students to raise their academic standards. "We depend on you for that," he said.
"As students, teachers, and parents, we must collaborate to uphold Mater Spei's illustrious status as a centre of excellence, merit in academics and co-curricular activities."
He further underscored the notion that complacency hinders progress saying 'goodness is the enemy of greatness' and implored students to cultivate a competitive spirit to surpass their past achievements. In addressing the changing landscape of education, Lecha emphasised the rapid evolution of the learning environment. He stressed that the knowledge and skills required for the future would diverge from the present and the past. "What we are used to now will become outdated sooner than we think," Lecha cautioned.
To prepare for the road ahead, he urged students to remain aware of these shifts, which would expand their opportunities if they excel across various disciplines. Lecha noted that while academic certificates offer insights into the world, they no longer guarantee success in the job market. In today's world, he affirmed, problem-solving skills are the key to survival.
He stressed that a holistic education should encompass more than acquiring a degree; it should involve reading, research, and embracing diverse perspectives. A true academic education, according to Lecha, empowers individuals to tackle pressing issues, innovate, and extend the boundaries of existing knowledge.
Lecha asserted that education is the most potent tool for reshaping the world, serving as an equaliser in an unequal society. Turning to the topic of student discipline, he remarked that contemporary society often discusses children's rights without adequately addressing their responsibilities. Lecha emphasised that rights come with corresponding duties, and individuals reap what they sow.
"That now leads me to the subject of student discipline. Avoiding drugs is not only the best decision, but it is also the hippest one. Drug use has a negative influence on both your physical and emotional wellbeing. As a result, you'll get mental illnesses, your intelligence will decline, you'll have mental illnesses, and you'll eventually die. So, behave wisely and consider carefully,” he said.