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Internship programme discriminatory – Arone

Former Chairperson of the parliament’s education committee, Bagalatia Arone

Former Chairperson of the parliament’s education committee, Bagalatia Arone, has observed that the National Internship programme which benefits only degree holders is discriminatory and hinders career prospects for diploma students.  

Arone says the practice is unfair and discriminates Diploma graduates unnecessarily. He contends that there is no reason to give other graduates mileage and deny other graduates the same privilege, revealing that at the end of the day, those diploma graduates are job seekers just like degree graduates.

“If you look at the kind of duties that graduates perform on daily basis during their internship, there is absolutely no reason why diploma or even certificate graduates cannot be allowed to do it,” Arone told Weekend Post in an exclusive interview this week.

The Okavango legislator is of the view that, the move was motivated by the fact that even at present when the initiative is only open for degree holders – the graduates cannot be absorbed into the programme.

“We were in the process of discussing this matter in the just ended session but we were unable to do so due to time constraints resulting mainly from the court case (standing orders case),” says Arone.

The Okavango legislator argues views the National Internship program as National Service which should be open to all graduates from government sponsored institutions.

Arone says there is a need for a consistent government policy instead of making reactionary decisions like the current government is doing. Arone observes that the National internship Programme is an unprincipled move which was aimed at appeasing degree holders while another vast majority of graduates are not allowed to participate.

The programme, one of President Ian Khama’s initiatives to curb unemployment and give graduates a practical experience in the work environment was introduced four years ago. With graduates failing to be absorbed in the work industry, one of the factors identified as hindrance was lack of experience and the programme was introduced with the hope of proving solution to that predicament.

However, the initiative has proved to be counterproductive as scores of graduates with diploma are not eligible for participation. While the government has announced in 2012 that it has introduced progression sponsorship to allow students who were sponsored for Diploma courses, to enrol for a top-up Degree, it has since transpired that the initiative has also been marred by controversy.

With a high number of students seeking progression, the Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF) introduced another requirement, saying only students who fall within the category of scare skills will be given priority.

Initially, progression also catered for students who previously sponsored themselves for certificates courses in various recognized institutions in Botswana. This has led DTEF not being able to sponsor all the students, hence the introduction new criterion to qualify for sponsorship. The development however, has proved to be a conundrum for students without degree qualification since they are unable to qualify for both National Internship Programme and for progression for further studies.

Khama revealed last month in his State of Nation Address (SONA) that despite criticism levelled against the initiative government is continuing with the National Internship Programme as a platform for skills transfer and development. As of April 2014, there were 4,228 Interns enrolled in the programme.

Opponents of the initiative contend that it has been used by some private companies as a source of cheap labour. Government has also been criticized that since introducing the programme he has put on hold thousands of employment post in favour interns.

Meanwhile BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi says the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Culture will continue with the National Internship programme which caters only for Bachelor Degree students, because they are many various government initiatives targeting the youth which Diploma graduates can benefit from.

 Balopi says the exclusion of Diploma graduates from National Internship Programme does not mean they cannot participate in other youth empowerment programmes availed by government. Balopi says there are various empowerment programmes which they can benefit from without necessarily having to focus only on the National Internship Programme.  

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6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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