Debswana announces new scholarship programme

Mr. Balisi Bonyongo, CEO of Debswana

Mr. Balisi Bonyongo, CEO of Debswana

Debswana Diamond Company has pledged to assist in the development of the right skills in the country’s diamond mining industry as it announced a new scholarship programme. The company, which employs a large number of people, is offering 50 scholarships in the relevant disciplines which are currently facing a shortage of skilled manpower.

“Metallurgy, Mine Survey and Chemical Engineering are some of the disciplines in which skills are needed,” stated the company.

According to the company, the programme will commence this month with newspaper advertisements detailing the requirements and scholarships available for specific disciplines in the mining industry.

Senior Organisational Effectiveness & Talent Manager at Debswana, Johannes Motshegare, said the programme is targeting all Batswana citizens who completed their form five in 2014 and self-sponsored A-Levels students currently doing their first and second year of study.

“Since this is a new start Debswana would like to target fresh school leavers to begin the journey with and avoid disrupting those who have already begun their academic journey,” explained Motshegare.

“Debswana aims to produce graduates in relevant disciplines as per the company’s skills requirements.”

The company revealed that selection criteria will be used to define the cut off and pass mark or grade per relevant subject followed by an oral interview and Psychometric evaluation which will be monitored by a panel of experts from various fields.

The Debswana scholarships are designed to expose candidates to first class institutions and programmes in their chosen fields of study.

“In addition to the tuition and related educational cost, candidates will also benefit from coaching and mentoring from those already practising in their fields at Debswana. This will assist with their career and personal development as they realise their professional dreams,” Motshegare explained.

The scholarships are not a replacement of the scholarship programme that Debswana partnered with government in, in 2014. These will continue to run alongside the Debswana scholarships only for the students who are already identified, subject to them attaining agreed pass marks and psychometric evaluation to allow the partnership to continue as per the Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Tertiary Education Fund.

The scholarships are granted on merit and all Batswana who fit the requirements are eligible to apply. The programme will not only benefit the successful candidates but also the future of Botswana’s economy.

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