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By Pako Lebanna

The Ministry of Basic Education (MOBE) and the World Bank are prepared to work together on implementing critical education reforms that will benefit the economy of Botswana. This was revealed by officials of the two institutions during a workshop at the University of Botswana in Gaborone on Wednesday, subsequent to the release of a World Bank report titled, 'Job-ready Graduates of Secondary Education in Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia.' MOBE permanent secretary, Ms Grace Muzila told the gathering that the World Bank recommendations of the report are in agreement with the direction government wants to pursue in the education sector.

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"We believe that it is important to work on improving the job readiness of graduates through implementing multiple pathways of ensuring that both vocational training and academic training," Ms Muzila. She said Botswana is unique in that since 1965 the country has been implementing National Development Plans (NDPs) which are only put into effect after a thorough situational analysis of our country's developmental needs.

"For NDP 11, which we have just started implementing, we identified three challenges namely unemployment, poverty and income inequality. Our educational reforms have to bear in mind addressing these challenges," Ms Muzila said. She added that the NDP 11 theme is 'Inclusive Growth for the Realisation of Employment Creation and Poverty Alleviation' with some of the priority areas being pursued being economic diversification, human capital development and social development.

Addressing the workshop through a video from Washington DC, United States of America where he is meeting World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank country representative, Mr Xavier Furtado said their report noted high unemployment among graduates in the country. He said their report recommends among other things teacher training, accelerated competency based curriculum and planned professional educational pathways

Source: All Africa