Target 20 000 Programme suspended
The mess experienced at Target 20 000 initiative has resulted in the suspension of the programme, Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Fidelis Molao has said.
The minister revealed that one of the major flaws that occurred in the implementation of the programme relates to the fact that students were enrolled in long-term programmes instead of short-term programmes. Some students ended up taking four-year programmes against the original plan.
The minister stated that officials dealing with the programme did not follow the stipulated guidelines hence the suspension. “We will however allow the students who have already enrolled to complete their studies because it was not their fault. The students were to be admitted on short courses. We suspended the programme to fix the problem and tighten things,” said Molao.
He told Parliament during Ministers’ question time that the consequence of this is that the budget was overstretched and participation in the programme ended up being limited as there are now only a few students exiting the programme. He indicated that the programme was implemented in January 2016 and to date 9 953 unemployed youth benefited.
“However, 741 dropped out of the programme. Notably, 3094 have completed or graduated in the different courses they pursued in various institutions,” said the minister, adding that to this end, 5 393 students are actively studying different programmes in various institutions. Molao revealed that to date the total expenditure of Target 20 000 stands at P276 095 194.25. He said the problem of payment of allowances arose in November las
t year when funds got exhausted. The minister told Parliament that Target 20 000 which was initially funded by Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) is now catered for in the ministry budget.
He stated that out of 583 graduates who were contacted during a tracer study that started in November last year and ended in January this year only 59 have been employed.