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Leverage on partnerships

Learners have been encouraged to leverage on partnerships that government continued to form with global leaders and international high-tech companies.

 President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi gave the encouragement at Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) 11th annual excellence awards in Gaborone  Friday.

  The partnerships were meant “to assist us in our commitment to achieve the 4th Industrial Revolution and drive our Digital Transformation Agenda”, he said.

He promised to work hard during his tenure to bring learners closer to actors and principals he interacted with globally.

President Masisi, who honored three top achievers, Mr Shammah Bernard, Ms Tsholofelo Sebetso and Mr Danish Galebotse, said their outstanding performance in a challenging Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations was a reflection of discipline and commitment to their studies.

Mr Bernard, of Naledi Senior Secondary School, who obtained  eight A*, one A and two Bs in 11, scooped position one and the most prestigious decoration, Golden Star Award,  given to the best BGCSE overall performer. 

He also walked away with a P15 000 cash prize.

Position two and P7 500 went to Ms Sebetso of St Joseph’s College while Mr Galebotse, also a Naledi Senior Secondary School learner got position three and P5 000.

The three got a Mac Book gadget, ipad, trophy and a certificate each.

Dr Masisi also hailed teachers for their enthusiasm and determination in guiding and imparting knowledge to learners saying their hard work and patience was commendable and humbling.

He further paid tribute to parents, guardians, Parent-Teacher Associations, the private sector and other stakeholders who continued to contribute to learner performance across Botswana. 

“The more, the longer, the harder, you continue to invest in young people, the greater the likelihood of success of young people and the success of the country at large,” he stated.

The President said government would support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in ways that connected schools, communities, work and the global enterprise to enable students to be competitive in the global economy.

Government would also continue providing opportunities for young people to enroll in STEM programmes, he said.

For that reason, he said, reforms were being undertaken to shift to an outcome-based approach education system.

He said the approach promoted skills-based curriculum, which provided learners with requisite skills and capacities necessary for a knowledge-based economy that government was vigorously pursuing.

The approach would significantly contribute to the development of entrepreneurial skills of young people and enhance their employability, thus driving the national transformational agenda, he said.

Meanwhile Mr Masisi has raised concern over rising positive COVID-19 cases in schools.

He however said he was  gratified that government schools throughout the country were fully observing COVID-19 health protocols.

Schools had mounted hand wash basins as well as providing soap, toilet paper, sanitizers, disposal bins and water tanks as well as maintaining social distancing to minimize the spread and transmission of the virus, he noted.

The President said other measures which government had undertaken to support learners and teachers during the challenging time included reducing class size to a maximum of 30 learners, introduction of shifts and engagement of over 3 000 temporary teachers to accommodate the increase in the number of classes.

In addition, he said safety health and environment officers had been employed in all schools to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols. 

President Masisi said government would work hard to protect students, teachers and schools from the pandemic.

For her part, Assistant Minister of Basic Education, Ms Nnaniki Makwinja said it was the ministry’s’ quest to deliver a 21st century learner with all the skills to navigate the globe and lead in employment creation together with self-sufficiency.

She hailed the country’s top achievers for their success despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and extended gratitude to stakeholders who contributed in different ways to the achievement of the young people’s educational aspirations.

Ms Makwinja also thanked Naledi Senor Secondary School and St Joseph’s College leadership for creating an environment of excellence in their schools.

Pointing out that their role was immense, she stated that the three top achievers were products of their schools.

Another speaker, Botswana Examinations Council (BEC)  chie executive officer, Professor Brian Mokopakgosi said the three top achievers were part of a larger group of 36 outstanding performers of 2019 PSLE, JCE and BGCSE examinations.

He explained that in observance of COVID-19 health protocols, only the top three top achievers were physically attending this year’s awards ceremony.

Special arrangements had been made for those not in attendance. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Lesedi Thatayamodimo

Location : Gaborone

Event : Excellence awards

Date : Oct 25 Sun,2020

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