The CEO of Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) Dr Raphael Dingalo has said the stronger institutions that offer quality programmes supported through the development of institutional are critical in transforming from a resource economy into a knowledge based.
Dr Dingalo made the sentiments while briefing the media on the upcoming 11th 2020 Career Guidance and Clinics Fair to be held starting February in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun.
He indicated that the career fair serves as platform under which the HRDC plays its role in promoting knowledge economy by forging strong links between institutions and industry. “The fair and career clinics aids for stakeholder engagement aimed activity geared towards promoting education and training sector while reflecting on crucial strategic issues within the education sector,” Dr Dingalo echoed adding that HRDC is crucial for transformation as well.
Various stakeholders that are engaged in dialogue according to Dr Dingalo includes Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA), Botswana Examanitation Council (BEC) to mention but just few.
The knowledge economy, he said strives in four pillars namely; economic and institutional regime, innovation system, information infrastructure and educated force as key elements.
He insisted that there is a strong need to align education in the scientific and engineering field emphasizing that Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is important to unlock opportunities or strategies that can guide the process of transforming the economy.
Theme for 2020 fair is ‘Career Guidance: the Foundation for Knowledge Based Economy,’
Dr Ellah Matshidiso, Director of Human Resource Development Planning (Supply) at HRDC said the 2020 career fair will be bigger and better staged fora compared to the previous career fairs.
She said HRDC is finding value from career guidance fair and clinics as it accords them the opportunity to interact and advise students on their process of selecting courses to pursue.
“There is big issue of skills mismatch between what the industry requires in terms of workforce and what the universities teaches. We want to close that gap between the industry and tertiary education providers to enhance employability of these graduates,” Dr Matshidiso underscored.
Botswana is battling with high youth unemployment level with one of the causes being that universities offers courses that doesn’t meet the needs of industry in terms of employability.
Latest results of Statistics Botswana’s Multi Topic Survey ( QTMS) Q 3 2019, on Labour Force Module report released last week shows that graduate unemployment stands at 9.6 percent.
As part of its roles, the HRDC is responsible for planning, funding of the education, training and advising the Government on all matters related towards feasible human capital development.
The career fair events will kick start at Francistown from 26th-28 February, then proceed to Maun slated for 3rd-4th March will last edition will be held from 23rd-27th March in Gaborone.