Botswana must undertake pressing education reforms if its secondary school graduates are to learn the 21stcentury skills demanded by employers, according to a new World Bank report titled “Job-ready graduates of secondary education in Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia.”
This new report, done in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic Education, is being presented today at the University of Botswana to a gathering of government officials, private sector representatives, civil society members, academicians, researchers and youth.
While education remains one of the best investments governments and citizens can make, Botswana’s secondary education system is presently generating too many graduates who do not possess the skills necessary to become productive members of Botswana’s economy. In Botswana, 34 percent (87,000) of young graduates are presently unemployed and by 2030, four of five workers in Botswana are expected to have secondary education. It is therefore imperative that the Government of Botswana acts swiftly to ensure that the country’s public education system produces job-ready graduates.
To do this, the report identifies three priority reforms:(i) introducing multiple educational pathways, including a combined vocational and academic senior secondary track; (ii) accelerating the preparation, approval, and implementation of the competency-based curriculum with a stronger focus on core subjects (Setswana, English, math and science); and(iii) launching a large-scale teacher training program.
“The purpose of the report is to ensure that Botswana’s graduates have the skills necessary to win gainful and productive employment,” said Xavier Furtado, World Bank Country Representative for Botswana. “The World Bank stands ready to support education sector reform and job creation as critical elements to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity in Botswana.”
“The Ministry of Basic Education is fully committed to work with the World Bank in developing the 21st Century leaner who is more skilled,” said Grace Muzila, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic Education.