Career guidance and counselling at all stages of learning is an absolute necessity nowadays. It is critical for learners to maximise the benefits of career guidance and counselling as it shapes their academic expedition and aids in unearthing factors influencing career interests, abilities, and values and ultimately identify the career development path for the them as a way of setting achievable career goal. On the 14th October 2019, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) in collaboration with Rakops Junior Secondary School held a Prize Giving Ceremony and Career Guidance Fair. This event was held to recognise the school’s academic top performers for the year 2018 so as to accord them a refreshed sense of hope for the future as they were provided with career guidance information to enable them to make informed career choices.

In light of the notion above, it is worth mentioning that HRDC has the responsibility to address the misalignment between the supply of graduates and the demand of skills in the labour market. This mismatch in the demand of skills and supply of qualified graduates has been attributed to unemployment in the Country. In this regard, HRDC in collaboration with its strategic partners seek to impart quality education and demand driven skills development to its citizens from an early childhood throughout to long-life learning. Further, HRDC continues to undertake initiatives which are focused on motivating learners on their studies and informing them about the identified Top Occupations in Demand across the different sectors of the economy. This is to help learners to make informed career choices as well as to strive towards minimising the gap between the demand and supply of skilled human resource in Botswana.

Giving the keynote address during the event, His Honour, The Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, Mr Slumber Tsogwane expressed his gratitude to HRDC for its steadfast commitment to contribute to the development of Botswana with respect to driving the country’s skills development agenda. “The mandate of HRDC revolves, around creating a balance between skills supply and demand. The approach nowadays is demand - oriented training as opposed to skills wholesale supply. hence the decision to host today’s activity that will undoubtedly drive the message home,” said the Vice President, Mr Slumber Tsogwane.

The Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, Mr. Slumber Tsogwane notified the attendants that this gathering is intended to celebrate the learners and avail career guidance information which the Government, HDRC and the Nation at large recognise as a step towards achieving the goal of becoming a knowledge - based society. HRDC believes equipping learners with the necessary knowledge, skills and values will assist them to start preparing for future career choices at each level of education for successful transition. In this regard, HRDC shared with learners identified top occupations in high demand within the different sectors of the economy.

Concluding his remarks, His Honour, the Vice President stated that HRDC’s noble gesture is in line with the aspirations of the National Vision 2036 whose main objective is to ensure that every Motswana enjoys a dignified life and that No One is Left Behind in the country’s development agenda. “I therefore urge other entities in Botswana to take a leaf out of HRDC to also follow suit and contribute towards advancement of education and making it a high priority as the Government alone cannot afford to drive this agenda,” said His Honour Mr. Slumber Tsogwane.

Presenting the overview of the HRDC mandate during the event, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of HRDC, Mr Meshack Tafa stated that the Prize Giving Ceremony was indeed a testament of what the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS) advocates for i.e. helping Batswana to realise their potential. Recognising and rewarding learners for their hard work has been described as an important aspect of creating a competitive spirit among learners therefore helping them to Realise their Potential. “The Career Guidance Fair is also a noble and strategic event that presents an opportunity for all key stakeholders to share information and guide our children who are learners here at Rakops JSS to make informed career decisions,” said Mr Tafa.

Mr. Tafa referred to the inspiration by His Excellency, the President, of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, while officiating the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) graduation ceremony in 2018, challenged institutions of higher learning to review and develop programmes that are futuristic and relevant to the needs of the industry. His Excellency, The President, Dr. Masisi also emphasised the importance of the Government of Botswana’s commitment to prioritise investment in research, science, technology and innovation (RIST).

In conclusion, Mr Tafa acknowledged and commended the efforts by Village Development Committee (VDC) and Rakops Junior Secondary School together with other partners in putting up an intervention of that magnitude for the benefit of learners.My sincere gratitude goes to industry representatives such as Lucara Botswana, Botswana Open University (BOU), Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), Department of Wildlife and Boteti Brigade who have created time to share their valuable knowledge and experience with learners,” elatedly said Mr Tafa.





News Date: 
Monday, October 14, 2019