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A teacher on a disc

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A teacher on a disc

EU-Pick Tutorial to revolutionise distance learning

At a time when governments across the world have suspended school terms in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, the biggest challenge faced by the education sector is how to ensure learning continues outside the classroom.

Three gentlemen from Francistown may just have the answer.

Lawrence Khuwa and Vincent Sebele of EU-Pick Tutorial are spearheading distance learning through videos, audio and using indigenous languages.

In an interview with Voice Money, Khuwa revealed they decided to translate learning materials first to Setswana after realising many students fail primarily because they do not understand due to the language used during lessons.

“In January we distributed tutorial videos in secondary schools around Francistown,” he said, adding this was done free of charge.

Khuwa said they have approached more schools to start uploading the videos, which can then be shared with students using other mediums such as USB, compact discs and even audio.

“It has to be something kids can use at home, because we do understand that not everyone has access to a computer. We also have the audio version of the tutorial material for students to listen to during their spare time,” he said.

“We’ve tested these videos and our students all posted impressive results,” declared Khuwa, revealing they also plan to roll out the programme to primary schools imminently.

The third piece of this jigsaw is Dr Tampiwa Chebani of Tach Multimedia who explained the project’s overall target is to improve results in both junior and senior secondary schools which have been on a downward spiral in recent years.

“We’re also looking at the modern student and are trying by all means to use gadgets that they are accustomed to!”

Dr Chebani noted that the 21st century learner is used to consuming content through audios and videos via the many gadgets available in the market.

“Most don’t really want to sit in class and listen to a teacher and we thought the use of videos would be more appealing and fun,” he added.

He further said since they use indigenous languages it also enhances learning and makes it easier for parents to be more involved in their children’s schoolwork.

“Through these videos we’re able to do remote tutoring for kids living in far places. It is also ideal for parents who can’t afford tutorial fees,” he said.

The determined trio further told Voice Money that they intend to approach private companies and propose a partnership or collaboration in an effort to increase EU-Pick Tutorial’s reach.

Currently the learning materials, which focus on areas that historically students have struggled in, are only available in Setswana but they plan to release a Kalanga version soon.

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Business

De Beers cuts production as Covid-19 effects set in

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In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, diamond mining conglomerate De Beers – has revised its global production guidance.

The company, which operates Debswana Mines with Botswana government in a 50/50 joint venture, revealed this week that it has cut its global production guidance by 7 million carats to reflect demand and support long-term value.

When updating the media last Thursday afternoon, De Beers – Global Sightholder Sales Executive Vice President, Paul Rowley described the pandemic as unprecedented and nothing like what the world has ever faced.

Previously, production guidance was set between 32-34 million carats for the year, but non due to the pandemic which has affected business across sectors.

Rowley told the media that the diamond mining giant is also refocusing and repurposing marketing plans to reflect a changing situation.

Furthermore, he said the group is also working with partners in government to see how to generate revenue when international customers are unable to travel adding that creating viewing centres in other countries is another option being considered as a temporary measure.

Despite the current challenges facing the diamond industry, and all other industries, Rowley said De Beers continues to make major investments across the diamond value chain to ensure the industry’s continued success during these unprecedented times.

De Beers, according to Rowley, is making investments in production capacity expansion, rough diamond distribution efficiency and downstream consumer marketing campaigns.

Rowley told journalists that Covid-19 has impacted heavily on all the three streams, being downstream, midstream and upstream.

On the downstream side, he noted that the pandemic has had a direct impact of De Beers Jewellers retail outlets due to store closures and consumer demand impact.

In the midstream, he says the pandemic has negatively affected the rough diamond sales as the third sight was cancelled due to logistical challenges as countries went on a lockdown.

The fourth sight was only attended by local beneficiation Sightholders as international buyers were unable to travel once again.

In the upstream, Rowley said operations across the globe were impacted and the group has had to implement new requirements and procedures in the workplace to keep the workers safe.

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Business

Letlole La Rona suspends CEO

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Letlole La Rona (LLR), a property company listed on the Botswana Stock Limited (BSEL), on Tuesday moved to suspend its Chief Executive Officer, Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa.

His suspension, according to a notice to shareholders, follows preliminary findings arising from an investigation into issues relating to the company’s Long-term Incentive Plan.

Mutiswa who was appointed LLR CEO in June 2018, is said to have been suspended with full benefits pending the outcome of the full investigations.

Commenting on the latest developments, LLR Board Chairperson, Boitumelo Mogopa noted good governance remains sacrosanct to the board and all staff of the company.

“The preliminary findings of the possible misconduct arising from the investigations relate to the circumstances around the company’s Long-term Incentive Plan during or around March this year and possible acts or omissions by an individual in a unique position of power,” said Mogopa.

Mogopa said this by no means reflects the integrity of the board, financial performance and company portfolio.

“For us, it remains business as usual as the due process takes its course,” said Mogopa.

Meanwhile, the board has in the interim appointed Botshelo Mokotedi to hold the fort on an acting basis while investigations continue.

Mokotedi is seconded from Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) – a major shareholder in LLR – where he is the Head of Risk.

He is described as a forward-thinking, highly motivated and results-oriented individual with more than a decade experience in the financial services sector across a variety of senior roles, including Business Development, Credit Analysis as well as Portfolio and Risk Management.

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