17 February 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

You have a bright future ahead of you, technical students told

by: Bonolo Mohlakoana   date: 02 february 2018

Bokone Bophirima Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, says the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding the province entered into with Denel Technical Academy in 2016, will go a long way in fulfilling the vision of rebranding, repositioning and renewal (RRR) of the province.

Addressing a group of 43 students who will study various courses at Denel Technical Academy, the Premier urged students to embrace the opportunity at their disposal and focus on building their future. Their courses will range from fitting and turning, aircraft mechanic, welding and electrical ones.

“Skilled trade people are highly sought after in our country. By choosing these fields of study, each one of you will not only contribute towards addressing the challenges of unemployment and poverty, but the realisation of the RRR vision as well,” said Mahumapelo, who urged the students to remain focused on their studies.

The students, who were mainly recruited through the Technical Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) colleges, are from the province’s Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD), in line with the provincial strategy to deliberately channel its resources towards the development of these areas.

A three-year study programme, costing the provincial government a total of R11.8 million this financial year, will comprise theoretical training in the first year, practical training to be offered at the Mahikeng International Airport in the second year and placement at various institutions for a full year on-the-job-training during the third year. Students will also have to pass the trade test before qualifying as artisans.

One of the students, Kagiso Motlhwe (23), from Logageng village in Mahikeng Local Municipality, said the opportunity offered by the provincial government could not have come at the right time.

“I have keen interest in welding and seeing that I have not had the opportunity to study it at any of the local TVET colleges, being selected to study it at Denel Technical Academy is a dream come true for me. I am positive that the teaching I will obtain will enable me to contribute positively towards the planned face-lifting of Mahikeng International Airport,” said Motlhwe.

Dipuo Diphoko (31) from Ditshilong village in the Greater Taung Local Municipality, who will pursue a course in Fitting and Turning, says she hopes to change females’ mindset about choosing technical studies for their profession.

“I want to thank the provincial government under the leadership of Premier Mahumapelo for initiating this ground-breaking programme, which will see many of us from villages acquiring skills and qualifications in what is generally considered scarce skills. 

“I am happy to be part of the first group and believe this is the first step towards realising my dream of one day establishing a technical academy in my village. I also believe that my participation in this training will send a message to my peers that females can also do it,” said Diphoko.

Thirteen students in this first intake are females while 30 are males. They will each, during the period of their studies, earn a stipend of R5 000 per month, as part of the study programme requirements.

Pronounced by Premier Mahumapelo during the 2017 State of the Province Address, as part of a strategy to develop aviation and technical skills in the province, the agreement with Denel Technical Academy will also provide for the establishment of a Denel Satellite Technical Academy in Mahikeng overseen by the Office of the Premier’s Ikatisong School of Governance.

The second phase of the agreement will result in the opening of a fully-fledged Denel Academy Facility at Mahikeng International Airport, where students will complete their practical training before their placement in selected industry employers for an on-the-job-training and preparation for final accreditation as qualified artisans. 

The project is implemented in partnership with the provincial departments of Community Safety and Transport Management and Public Works and Roads.