July 19, 2018
BITRI Personnel Officer, Elijah Gobela informing pupils about the different career opportunities at BITRI and the entry requirements. To his right, is Camilla Sebolawe, an attachee in the Communications and Partnerships unit.
MOSHUPA – On Friday the 6th of July, BITRI alongside other institutions, participated in the joint career fair for Mmanaana Community Junior Secondary School and Diratsame Community Junior School for the 2018 Form 3 cohort. The event themed “Sky is the Limit,” was led by the Student Representative Council Presidents of both Mmanaana and Diratsame Junior Schools. The pupils participated in choosing the theme and the focus of the career fair.
In his welcome remarks, the school head of Mmanaana Junior School, Mr. Sabata Tlhaselo expressed appreciation towards institutions that honored the invitation to the fair. Mr. Tlhaselo also pointed out that the pupils were privileged to have been exposed to opportunities for vocational and tertiary education, as well as potential employers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at that stage of their lives. He also stressed how they, they as teachers, need the support from other institutions to help mold the futures of the pupils.
“I am very humbled that an event of this nature has attracted institutions of this magnitude represented in this forum to spend a day with us. Nowadays, resources are limited, and one of the core values of the Ministry of Basic Education is to promote optimal utilization of resources”, added Mr. Tlhaselo while applauding the decision of the Career Guidance department in hosting a joint event with the two schools.
The school head also reminded the students to use the opportunities presented before them, citing the career fair to start planning for their futures.
The pupils listened to inspirational talks from their colleagues and teachers, all of which were geared towards encouraging them to use opportunities availed to them and to work diligently in preparation for their future. The pep talks also primed the pupils to listen attentively during impending presentations made by the different institutes as well as to ask informed questions.
The session was closed by the Mmanaana JSS Deputy School Head, Ms. Tebogo Mosweu, who also advised the pupils to aim for acquisition of knowledge from proceedings of the day.
“I want to believe that you all acknowledge the organisations that heeded our call and you are ready to learn something from them. Not all of you are going to progress in the same academic path, so you have to learn of the different options available to you after graduating from senior school”, emphasised Ms. Mosweu.
Ms. Mosweu also urged the pupils to consider vocational training as an option, and not look down upon careers in that field as they can be fulfilling vocations that create employment and a source of livelihoods for them.
The main component of the event saw the pupils visit different institutional stalls to learn about the offerings and services of the concerned organizations.
During BITRI’s presentations, Communications Officer, Mr. Frank Rakgomo explained the organization’s mandate and highlighted some of the key projects such as the Seding V2 solar street light, Foot-and-mouth disease rapid test kit, Climate Smart Agriculture tool and Signcoach. Mr. Rakgomo went into detail while talking about the Seding V2 light, with the pupils being able to relate as Moshupa and nearby villages such as Manyana, Ralekgetho and Lotlhakane West are among the pilot sites for the project.
“At BITRI, we do research that bears products in the form of physical goods and services that have a direct impact on the lives of the residents and citizens of Botswana and beyond. The Seding V2 solar street light, as with other products that BITRI produces, was researched, conceptualized and produced by BITRI Researchers, whom were in your shoes at some point. You also, can do STEM subjects and go on to create groundbreaking products not just at BITRI, but, in other sectors of the economy where your skills will be relevant,” explained Mr. Rakgomo.
BITRI Personnel Officer, Mr. Gobela took the pupils through the different career opportunities that BITRI has to offer, covering the core Departments as well as the support services functions. Mr. Gobela went on to inform the pupils about the minimum academic requirements and experience, where applicable for different layers of operational and strategic positions that exist at BITRI. Mr. Gobela also gave an overview of the ICTAssociate@BITRI Programme, the competency-based two year programme in which ICT graduates are involved in BITRI research projects aimed at developing them in an array of competencies, including but not limited to planning, starting and operating a small business in the ICT sector. The pupils learnt of notable successful projects started and run by the Associates, as well as the entry requirements to help them better prepare, should they be interested in enrolling for the program in the future.
The presentations ended with a few words of encouragement from Mr. Rakgomo, who implored the pupils not to give up on STEM as the field can immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of their communities and Botswana, and also offer numerous rewarding career options.
The pupils were accompanied and supported by their teachers during the event. Botho University, Ba Isago University, Moshupa Brigade, Kanye Seventh Day Adventist College of Nursing, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, as well as the Botswana Open University were also among the exhibitors.