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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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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.

 

 

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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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