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National fair a virtual success

The long awaited Botswana Social Studies Association (BOSSA) National Fair finally took place in Palapye last Friday at Mabogo Junior Secondary School.

Officiating at the event, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Policy Development, Research and Education Reforms in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Louis Ngope, commended BOSSA and IDM for creating an opportunity to engage learners academically.

Ngope noted fairs are important to the social development of young people.

“There are so many distractions out there today to lead our children astray. Stress, anxiety and depression are commonplace amongst our youth and it is far too easy to lose focus and engage in unproductive activities just to forget about the stress for a while. It is less easy to choose a better path, to stay engaged, to find joy in learning, to challenge oneself to improve. This fair and others like it offer that alternative path,” she praised.

Speaking to the theme ‘Human Resource, A key to Sustainable Development’, Ngope said human resource development is about providing people with the skills needed to run the nation, both today and in the future.

“So how do we develop the human resource in the right skills that are needed to serve the needs of the nation? Well, we start by engaging the youth as is being done here in this fair. Learners in the past few days and weeks have been challenged to come up with projects, and research important issues, to participate in Public Speaking and Chats. Today we may be focused mostly on the winners but these competitions started at the school level and through that mechanism reached hundreds of young people,” stressed Ngope, who applauded both IDM and BOSSA for using technology to host this year’s fair virtually.

For her part, IDM Assistant Director-Learner Support, Bernadette Peto, described the relationship between the organisations as an admirable journey of two partners with a common goal to add value to the education sector in Botswana.

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She revealed the partnership started in 2015 when IDM decided to adopt the Social Studies subject with the primary objective of sponsoring the National Fairs.

“This initiative prepares young people for life in a democratic society within a global context. It enables them to learn about active participation of citizens in the socio-economic and political advancement their country. Among the winners in the various categories, we are hopeful to build and produce future economists, educationists, legislators, development workers, future captains of industry, even future Presidents!” she highlighted.

Meanwhile, the National Chairperson of BOSSA, Modisana Mosweu admitted the build up to the event was both challenging and exciting.

Going forward, he called on Social Studies teachers in senior secondary schools to motivate their students to contribute towards the National Fair’s success.

IDM sponsored this year’s fair to the tune of P100, 000, with the cash mainly used to procure prizes for winners as well as general logistics. Winners received laptops, tablets and branded merchandise.