Unemployment dwarfs Botswana’s literacy achievements

28th June 2018
FACE OF UNEMPLOYMENT: Scores of Batswana unsuccessfully queue up for job opportunities despite relevant qualifications Source:The Midweek Sun


By Keikantse Lesemela - Reporter

In her 51 years of independence Botswana has achieved 90 percent literacy but the country is currently struggling to produce skilled graduates to match the job market needs.

Announcing the commemoration of the International Literacy Day recently, South East Director Labane Mokgosi said literacy now is currently declining as people are now looking for skills development rather than just reading and writing. “We are faced with challenges as the job market is calling for hands-on skills not just reading and writing.” said Mokgosi.

He revealed that currently enrolment of Out of School Education and Training (OSEC) is very low because literacy rate is very high. In 1980 only 40 percent of the population could read and write.  “Currently we have many people who can read and write; in 2017 we had 265 learners accredited. Government wanted people to learn how to read and write and now we are facing another challenge.”

This year the International Literacy Day will be hosted by the South East Region. Mokgosi said the main aim of commemorating the literacy day is to celebrate success of adult learning and acquisition of new knowledge. Throughout the world, literacy day is used to celebrate success of adult learning and acquisition of new knowledge.

Recently, Minister of Basic Education, Ngaka Ngaka said challenges of unemployment and the mismatch of skills produced in the country still persist and the ministry has taken mitigation purposes which include the Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP) 2015 to 2020. The ETSSP is intended to strengthen the match between qualifications and labour market requirements, thereby ensuring that education outputs are more closely aligned to future employment needs.

It will also facilitate improved outcomes for all learners by addressing issues of quality, relevance, access, equity and accountability across the entire sector, from Pre-Primary School to Tertiary level.

“It is anticipated that the introduction of these new strategies and reforms will assist in matching training with industry needs as well as increasing access to tertiary education through sponsorships, to attain a knowledge-based economy,” said Ngaka.

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