Inarguably, selection of the right career is critical for all learners as they traverse through the educational learning pipeline. Studies have also proven that a wrong career selection leads to numerous challenges such as; frustration at school which many a times leads to dropping out of school, resulting in unproductiveness at the workplace which leads to career related depression in the long run. Further, there are numerous researches conducted around the world that have proved that there is a relationship between the right career selection and the job satisfaction in the service industry.

These are some of the evidenced researches that continue to influence the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) to continue hosting the Botswana Human Resource Development Skills (BHRDS) Fair and Career Clinics in the North (Francistown), North Western (Maun) and South (Gaborone) parts of the Country with a hope that in future it would have reached other cardinal points of Botswana. From time immemorial, even before HRDC’s introduction of the BHRDS Fair, learners who wished to apply for tertiary education would travel from all corners of Botswana to the mother city Gaborone in order to access career guidance information and seek counsel on the programmes of study they wished to pursue. Three years ago, the Botswana Human Resource Development Skills Fair and Career Fair was held for the first time in Francistown mainly for learners in the northern part of the country to easily and conveniently access the services offered by HRDC and Stakeholders at the fair.

Since its inception in Francistown, the BHRDS Fair and Career Clinics have become an annual activity in the second city’s calendar, The City of All Things Precious. This year, the BHRDS Fair and Career Clinics were yet again held from the 26th - 28th February 2020 at the Business Botswana(BB) grounds at Gerald Estates under the theme ‘Career Guidance: The Foundation for Knowledge Based Economy.’

Presenting the overview of the BHRDS Fair and Career Clinics at the official opening ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HRDC, Dr Raphael Dingalo highlighted that this theme has come at an opportune time in Botswana, when Botswana is positioning herself to transform from middle-income to high-income status which is anchored on the transformation agenda from a resource to a knowledge-based economy as espoused in our National Vision 2036. ‘‘Transformation is a planned activity; it is not by chance or prayer. Career Guidance provides the planning and sequencing to achieve a balance between the supply of graduates and the demand of the labour market’’, stated Dr Raphael Dingalo.

The then new Minister at the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoTE), Honourable Dr Douglas Letsholathebe while delivering his maiden speech at the BHRDS Fair and Career Clinics as the keynote speaker, indicated that the national unemployment rate is at 20.7 percent and this means all the relevant stakeholders across various sectors of the economy have to contribute towards lowering the statistic. ‘‘I am happy to announce that my Ministry is putting in place innovative career guidance. This comes in the form of learner profiling models that take into consideration learner attributes that include but not limited to their capabilities, interests and passion,’’ passionately said Honourable Dr Letsholathebe.

Honourable Dr Letsholathebe further stated, ‘‘To demonstrate my Government’s commitment to education, the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology through the Department of Tertiary Education Financing has increased the number of sponsored students from 35 840 students in the year 2018/19 to 39 164 students in the 2019/20. This includes 562 and 750 students in external placement for the same periods respectively. However, the Government of Botswana is exploring cost sharing models for funding of Tertiary Education.’’ Cost sharing model will enable parents who are financially sound to also take part in their children’s tertiary education learning costs.

Giving a vote of thanks, the Director, North East Regional Education Office, Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE), Mr Labane Mokgosi thanked the organising team for bringing the fair to the second city. ‘‘I acknowledge the role played by all of you in the National transformation drive. I further encourage all of us to increase our efforts in our respective roles so that Botswana can successfully transform to a knowledge-based economy,’’ reiterated Mr Mokgosi.

The BHRDS Fair and Career Clinics was billed to be held in the Southern Part of Botswana in Gaborone, however, due to the Coronavirus COVID – 19 pandemic, HRDC is cognisance of social distancing precautionary measures, could not proceed with the event as scheduled. Following the postponement of this event, should the need arise, the new dates will be communicated after the national lockdown has been lifted.


News Date: 
Friday, February 28, 2020