President Ian Khama has urged students to focus on their future and not pursue wayward behaviour that ruin their lives. Speaking at the seventh Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) Excellence Awards in Gaborone on Friday, Khama raised his disappointment at learners who degenerate, indulging in drug and alcohol abuse, as well as adopting anti-social and violent behavioural tendencies including towards some of their authorities in the school system. “All these acts disturb peace and order in our schools and we cannot allow this to continue,” he said. He urged students to know that there are no shortcuts in life. He thanked teachers for the development of the community. Khama appreciated that they have come from nothing in 1966 when Botswana got independence to making so much strides in the economic sector.
He encouraged the recipients of the awards to make sure that they select careers that will assist in propelling Botswana towards vision 2036 and beyond. “I encourage all our children to raise their personal standards to sustain our national development because it is very worrying for all of us to see the declining performance of learners in school,” he said. He applauded the private sector for the contributions that they are doing in the education system through the adopt-a-school program. Khama congratulated all the students that have received the awards. One of the former achievers Kaene Disepo, who is now in Europe where he is doing incredibly well in his studies and even in representing Botswana in numerous international forums, said that diversity, creativity, and passion should be cultivated among young people. “We need to bring back our stars. Botswana spends so much in students abroad and they do not come back, that should be change now,” he said. According to Disepo, one important thing is for students to be taught about course selection at a very young age not only when they are going for tertiary.
The 2015 BGCSE Best Student Gitonga Mwangi, who got the Golden Star award, said behind all his achievements is her mother who encouraged her every day. He said his mother always taught her that it is not about what he has that counts but what he does with what he has. “Parents should join forces in meeting the government halfway because this is not the ministry’s efforts only,” he said. The minister of Education and Skills Development Unity Dow thanked the sponsors of the awards.