It gives me great pleasure to be with you this morning in this scenic village of Mmanoko as we launch the Digital Schools project for which we are grateful. We are equally thankful for the partnership between my Ministry, Ministry of Basic Education and Orange Botswana. We at the Peoples Ministry are exited and full of hope for this enriching relationship.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is important to create a conductive learning environment to pupils, especially those in rural communities, as they are not exposed to adequate and modern facilities like those in urban areas. This is why Government has always committed to bridging the urban-rural divide through provision of the right infrastructure by engaging the private sector to assist. We believe that it is through a good education system with the right facilities that we can fulfill our commitment of providing quality education to all Batswana.
It goes without saying that where issues of improving information management and access to municipal infrastructure are concerned, the support of strategic partners will, in no small measure, contribute to our Ministry’s mandate of strengthening social development, which is aligned to social up-liftment of those in need.
As the People’s Ministry, we embrace the projects that Orange Corporate Foundation has undertaken over the years, which have been transformational in nature, given that they directly assist in building resilient communities and promoting inclusive growth.
In essence, increased collaborative and concerted efforts by both Government and our development partners have transformed local economies, bringing much-needed developments in such communities.
It is without doubt that the foundation of a strong and confident nation is its education system, which in turn provides a foundation for a successful and prosperous nation. Unless good and quality education is provided to all, as well as leveraging on advanced technology, a nation cannot pride itself on producing great citizens.
As I have noted before at similar events, developing marketable skills remains a priority. The focus is now on programmes that can generate employment and be able to meet the growing demand of our society. Developing the right skills will therefore provide an opportunity for employment for these children, thereby complementing the Vision 2036 Pillar of Human and Social Development.
However, emphasis should not only be placed on learning the arts and sciences, but also on culture, values and traditions of our nation. Education has to be modern, yet rooted in tradition and culture. This rethinking process shall not only relate education to jobs and positions, but also lead to inner self-realization by learners.
Bagaetsho, every school has to produce independent, thoughtful and knowledgeable individuals to develop and sustain their communities.
I therefore urge you to start now, in order to achieve our quest for promoting rural development. In this regard, I am confident that in the next few years of this partnership, our nation will be able to realize that dream, as some of the problems bedeviling our education system will be addressed.
Director of Ceremonies, these gadgets come at the right time when the world is going digital and the use of technology such as Internet and social media are dominant. They constitute a window of hope; leading to empowerment of our learners, while at the same time unlocking young minds into limitless possibilities.
You will all agree with me that learners of today are curious and energetic when it comes to technology. They have taken a quantum leap in as far as technology is concerned and are bubbling with amazing talent. It is on this basis that I am convinced this modern technology will be fully utilized and that academic miracles are going to unfold very soon in this school.
I would like to compliment Orange Botswana and emphasize that we highly treasure this partnership because it targets school children. I also implore the Company to spread to other areas where there is need. As I always say, the future of this nation rests on these tiny shoulders.
Lastly, I encourage proper care of these gadgets and urge the recipients to use them only for the right purposes so that they function to their fullest capacity and beyond their anticipated lifespan. With those few remarks, I declare the Mmanoko Digital School project officially launched.
*KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY THE ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT: BOTLOGILE TSHIRELETSO AT THE LAUNCH OF DIGITAL SCHOOLS PARTNERSHIP PROJECT at MMANOKO PRIMARY SCHOOL, 20th November 2018