Every year Botswana produces thousands of graduates who later roam the streets with no jobs. Government has sponsored 15 500 students who are expected to graduate this year. Currently, 5 566 graduates have enrolled in the Internship programme and 355 in the Government Voluntary Scheme (GVS).
In its 2014-2019 election manifesto, the ruling party pledged that government would adopt a multi-pronged strategy to tackle youth unemployment. On the contrary however, graduates, including diploma and masters’ degree holders walk the streets looking for unavailable jobs. Malebogo Morapedi holds a diploma in Emergency Care Technology from Boitekanelo College. She believes that government should go back to the drawing board and set her mandate straight because it says one thing but does something completely different.
According to Morapedi who graduated in 2013 but spent two years with no job, the government does not care about graduates roaming the streets without employment. She applied for the internship programme but she was turned down. “I was told that the internship programme cannot absorb me as my qualification, a diploma does not qualify me for the programme which accommodates only degree holders,” she said. Uyapo Ntuane who graduated from University of Botswana in 2005 in the field of Agricultural Economics says that he spent close to 10years without a job. “After my year of completion I knocked from door to door looking for a job with no luck. I ended up going for a master’s degree in South Africa in 2009 for a period of a year,” said Ntuane. Even after attaining this level of education all his efforts at finding a job were in vain.
Life was not easy for him all those years. “I was always depressed. What bruised my ego the most, was the fact that my parents had sacrificed so much all these years so that I could get a better education and take care of them in future, but there I was still nagging them to buy me toiletry,” lamented Ntuane. “As frustrated as I was I ended up venturing into business which is not my area of study,” said Ntuane who decried misplacement saying that he had no other option but to make ends meet. The graduate from the country’s highest institution of learning defines government policies as fragmented and unaligned to the needs of the country.
An Information and Technology degree holder from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Gosaitsi Baliki also has a sad story to tell. “I’m supposed to be taking care of my parents but it’s the opposite.” Unlike others she was absorbed in the internship programme for the past two years. She said that the internship was more like a poverty eradication programme as she earned only P1400 per month to sustain herself. “I had no other choice but to take it, now that the internship is over I am always glued to the television and in the evening I endure all the scorning from my parents,” explained the frustrated graduate who says that she has become a butt of jokes to some people who even refer to her as a failure.
According to the young lady they think she failed towards her final year as she is struggling to get a job. A graduate who holds a degree in Business Enterprise who is under the GVS programme, Pearl Stacy says that all these programmes; internship and GVS are a way of exploiting graduates. According to her the government is taking advantage of the unemployed graduates. She gets 600 per month which can barely sustain her.