The architect of the Captain Kgomotso Phatsima Award, Captain Kgomotso Phatsima says the award is intended to motivate graduates and upcoming generations to take up career paths in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centered professions.
Captain Phatsima said this during the official signing ceremony of the award by Dare to Dream, an aviation Centre she founded in collaboration with the University of Botswana, on Wednesday. She said the excellence award will be bestowed on the best excelling graduates in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects offered from faculties at University of Botswana (UB) from academic year’s 2019 to2025.
Phatsima said there has been shortage of engagement and interest in the aviation and aerospace particularly amongst the youth in Botswana, adding that the award intends to instill sense of love for the STEM subjects and their professions most importantly considering the business aspect of the STEM. “This academic excellence award will go a long way in cultivating the interest and inspiration to the young generation to take STEM related subjects serious. It is also very important to embrace the STEM among children at a tender age, hence the establishment of Dare to Dream aviation center,” she added.
In a brief interview on the side lines of the signing ceremony, Phatsima emphasized that Dare to Dream is meant towards empowering future aviators’ especially young women with the aim of bridging the gap between females and males in the aviation and aerospace industry. Phatsima also revealed that as one of the first female pilots to break in the aviation industry at the BDF, she noted that she got inspired to help other fellow women to enroll in the aviation hence the establishment of Dare to Dream.
UB Vice Chancellor Professor David Norris hailed the Captain Kgomotso Phatsima Award as a great milestone which will advance youth in science and technology, as well as enhancing the leadership and business skills among the recipients. Prof Norris further applauded Captain Phatsima for a sterling job in the male dominated industry as well as raising the nation’s flag high through the local and international accolades bestowed on her. Amongst Phatsima’s accolades, according to Prof Norris, they include the Ambassador of Youth in Aviation and Aerospace in Botswana, 2017 Botswana Youth Awards Best Female of the Year and most significantly the Commonwealth Point of Lights award bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) Vice Chancellor Professor Otlogetswe Totolo pleaded with Phatsima to also extend the award to BIUST, pointing out that the institution is also keen on STEM development and empowerment.
Prof Totolo said STEM subjects have the potential of diversifying the country’ economy from the natural based to knowledge based one hence innovative ideas could be implementable through the initiatives such as Captain Phatsima Award.