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Private tertiary institutes account for highest number of graduates – HRDC study

HRDC Acting CEO Dr Patrick Molutsi

A study by the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) and Statistics Botswana has established that Private tertiary institutions account for the highest number of the country’s graduates.

The report that was conducted in years 2014 and 2015 and released Friday found that private institutions account for nearly half of the country’s graduates. In 2014 Private institutions graduated 6699 students or 43%, followed by Public institutions that graduated 3600 or 23%.Other Colleges graduated 2558 students or 16%.

Institute of Health Sciences and Colleges of Education graduated 516 students or 3% and 856 or 6% respectively.

However, conversely Public institutions are the only institutions that have graduated Masters Degree and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) qualifications while Private institutions, Colleges of education, Institute of Health Sciences, Private University and Technical colleges did not graduate any masters or PhD qualifications.

HRDC Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Patrick Molutsi conceded that the ratio between students and teachers remain high. The study indicates that the student- teacher ratio in all Private tertiary students is pegged at 01:32 while the student-teacher ratio at all public tertiary institution sits at 01:10.

The student-teacher ratio in the country’s institutions are the lowest at Institute of Health sciences and Colleges of Education both sitting at 01:05 followed by Technical colleges with the ratio of 01:11 while the ratio in Public Universities is 01:21. Private Colleges student teacher ratio is the highest at 01:36 the ratio of Private universities is 01:23.

The study also noted that out of a total 60,583 students enrolled in tertiary education institutions during 2014/2015, 57,5 % of them were female while female students dominated across all programs except in science and science related programs during the period of 2009/2010 to 2014/2015.

It also continues that the University of Botswana continued to register the largest student population during the same period while the Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF) sponsored 204 Batswana students to study at international institutions.

It also noted the relatively low enrolment and graduation rates for Engineering, Science and Technology programs as compared to social sciences, business, education and humanities.

The study continues to note that there is low enrollment for post graduate programs (Masters Degree, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy).Out of 60,583 students enrolled in 2014/2015 only 1980 (3.27%) enrolled for post graduate programs, with PhD constituting only 94 students of which 27 were females. Of the 94 PhD students, 5 are locals, 50 percent are foreigners and only 28.7 percent are females.

Female students also continue to outnumber male counterparts in tertiary enrollment in all types of institutions. Female enrollment percentage in all institutions stands at 57.5.

The grand total of females enrolled in tertiary institutions is 34,831 while their male counterparts are outnumbered at  25,752.

The study also indicates that tertiary education enrollment boomed steadily from 20 000 students by the turn of the millennium and shot skyward in 2008 and 2009 reaching a record 47 889 students. Three years later in 2010 it fell to 37 859 before it picked momentum again steadily rising to the current 60 583 students enrolled.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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Botswana still weighing in on Maseko’s assassination

27th January 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.

In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.

“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.

“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.

However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”

Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.

“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.

Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.

Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.

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Kopong Murder: Accused interferes with witnesses again!

27th January 2023

State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.

The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.

Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.

“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.

However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.

Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.

“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.

While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.

He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.

According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.

“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.

Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.

“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.

He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.

“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.

He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.

Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.

Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month

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