Over half of students left out of tertiary in the last five years
Of the 148, 009 students who sat for Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) in the last five years, only 59, 897 were admitted to tertiary education.
This emerged in parliament this week when Molepolole North legislator, Oabile Regoeng asked the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology to update the House on the number of students who were not admitted at tertiary institutions upon completion of their BGCSE in the last five years.
“Currently, the statistics collected over the last five years shows that out of the 148,009 students who completed senior secondary, 88,112 were not admitted to tertiary education,” said Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe.
Breaking down the figures which back dates from those who completed in 2014, the minister highlighted that during this five-year period, the country registered a higher transition rate of 51 percent in 2017 while the lowest was 30.2 percent.
The analysis is ongoing on the total number of students who transitioned to tertiary education during the 2019/2020 academic year and the minister expects the figures to be available in January next year.
Regoeng further asked the Minister to state the interventions the ministry devised to improve the admission rate.
In response, the minister said whilst there are privately sponsored students in tertiary education institutions, the government remains the major sponsor.
“Therefore, the budget allocated for students’ sponsorship each financial year determines how many of them can be sponsored to access tertiary education in that particular year,” disclosed the Minister.
He said currently the Ministry can sponsor students who have attained 36 points and above but universities and colleges can admit students who attained 30 points at BGCSE or equivalent.
“The Ministry is therefore, currently developing a student financing policy which will come up with ways of increasing the number of students sponsored by the government,” Letsholathebe told parliament.
He further revealed that the Ministry is also working on capacitating Technical Colleges to increase their enrollments.
“The Ministry has developed and reviewed 26 qualifications to be more relevant to the needs of the industry,” he said, adding these have since been submitted to Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) for accreditation.
The programmes are expected to be offered in 2022 and it is anticipated will increase the number of students enrolling in Technical Colleges and reduce the number of students who cannot access tertiary education.