Newly established Kitso International College (KIC) has vowed to change the mindset of Batswana regarding vocational education.
KIC Marketing Executive Ishmael Opelokgale has explained that the college is engaging in a campaign aimed at sensetising members of the public especially prospective students about vocational education. The purpose of the campaign according to Opelokgale is to change perception about vocational education.
KIC opened its doors for students in March this year. It is the only private institution that offers technical and vocational training. Opelokgale stated that currently the institution is offering Certificate courses but would be offering Diploma and Degree courses towards the end of this year. He said the college decided to offer technical and vocational courses with the aim of bridging the gap between theory and practical.
“We offer courses like Automotive Mechanic and Automotive Collision Estimation. We have partnered with Webbs Motors where we would be taking our students for practicals. Webbs Motors would also be offering us technical support,” he said, adding that technology is ever changing hence the need to move the times when dealing mechanical works.
“These are advanced courses when compared to those offered at government brigades. People prefer white color jobs as opposed to blue color jobs. But it is up to us offering these courses to change the mindset of the public about blue color jobs. There is always a market for graduates as opposed to white color jobs. One can be an employee or an employer,” he said when addressing the media this week.
Opelokgale said Batswana are not taking up vocational training seriously while it is the best education that could assist with reducing unemployment. He stated that young people should be ambitious to be entrepreneurs. “As KIC we want to be the synergy of theory and practice,” he said. He revealed that the institution want to tap into government’s Target 20 000 programme. The programme has since been suspended. Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Fidelis Molao in April this year told Parliament that the mess experienced at Target 20 000 initiative has resulted in the suspension of the programme. The minister revealed that one of the major flaws that occurred in the implementation of the programme relates to the fact that students were enrolled in long-term programmes instead of short-term programmes. Some students, according to Molao ended up taking four-year programmes against the original plan. The minister stated that officials dealing with the programme did not follow the stipulated guidelines hence the suspension. Opelokgale is hopeful that the programme would return soon. He stated that KIC is best placed to absorb Target 20 000 students. “We know that most of those who have graduated under this programme are not employed. It is because they chose business courses and not vocational courses. Even though in our college we have a faculty of business, our core is the technical and vocational which most private institutions are not offering. Now this is our chance to put to good use this noble programme and produce industry ready students who could also be employers,” said Opelokgale.