A budget of over P12 million has been set aside in the National Transitional Development Plan for the purpose of capacitating the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute (BWTI) to produce graduates that will combat modern wildlife and related environmental challenges.
The capacitation will include infrastructure development to renew the image of the institution and improve its competitive edge amongst rival institutions in the region. The development is also meant to have a well-equipped, driven and innovative workforce which will allow the institution to enrol the general public as well as foreign students.
This was revealed by the Minister of Environment and Tourism Philda Kereng during the institution’s 37th graduation ceremony recently.
She said BWTI stands a better chance of enrolling international students given Botswana’s ranking on issues of conversation and the abundance of flora and fauna. Kereng also noted that the institution has gone through the rigour of the Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA) to attain its registration and accreditation as an Education Training Provider (ETP) in 2021.
She appreciated BQA for its facilitation that helped the institution achieve the milestone adding that she trusts that they will continue to nurture it to achieve its full potential.
“I am pleased to inform you that the institution has made progress in the curriculum reform and review. The target is to have an updated training curriculum that accommodates skills and knowledge gaps of wildlife and natural resources practitioners and managers, including farmers and other citizens wishing to venture into parts of the wildlife value chain,” Kereng noted.
The minister has since urged the institution to speed up the process, indicating that the country has a backlog of required skills to address implementation of bottlenecks in the field.
Meanwhile the institution’s principal Moemi Batshabang has noted that out of the five approved new BWTI short courses thus far, they have received so much interest from stakeholders, which he said is a demonstration of the quality of the programmes offered by the institution.
“I am pleased to announce that today we have a total of 29 students graduating from a wildlife conservation and management certificate which commenced last year April,” he revealed.
The institution has also recorded a total 197 pro-guide graduates, 225 mokoro specialists and 5 professional hunters. Batshabang said he was impressed to see women being involved in both guiding and mokoro paddling.