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    17 March, 2020

    The journey of leaving home to attend tertiary school can be a scary and tough, even more so when you are leaving everything that is familiar to you in your home town, to the big city where you know nothing or no one.

    This was the case for the New Era College student, Osegofetse Madala, who left the tiny village of Nxamasere, in the Ngamiland region, about 150 Km from Maun, to pursue his tertiary education.

    Having completed his BGCSE at Shakawe Senior Secondary School in 2017, Osegofetse was bitterly disappointed at not making the grade of 36 points that guarantees a Botswana Government scholarship. At this point he was faced with the prospect of a lifetime tending to cattle which gave him the incentive to consider re-writing the subjects he did not perform well in, being mathematics and science. Coming from a humble background the financial implications meant that he had to ask his father to sell one of their prized bulls in order to pay for the extra lessons and exam fees.

    When Osegofetse sat for his exam again in 2018 he left nothing to chance and earned enough points to ensure that he could attend his institution of choice, which then gave him the new challenge of deciding which to pick. After attending the Botswana Human Resource Development Council (BHRDS) Fair which was held in Maun he instantly connected with New Era College and in particular with the world of electrical engineering.

    Speaking about what prompted his decision, Osegofetse remarked that, “New Era College stood out from the rest of the institutions. They explained the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and showed me a miniature toy car they had assembled and showcased electrical and electronics principles with. I had never seen anything like it and was curious as to what else this world of STEM was about.”

    Upon receiving his admission letter at the fair, he immediately boarded a bus to Nxamasere to consult with his parents on the decision he had taken. “At first my parents didn’t believe me when I told them I had been accepted to a school in Gaborone. After telling them more and showing them the prospectus they soon gave me their blessings. It was very painful to leave as it was the first time I was going to Gaborone and would be away for close to a year.”

    Osegofestse enrolled for his degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in August 2018 and soon found that he had a steep learning curve when adapting to the modern demands of city life. One of his first encounters with this new world was when his lecturer tasked his class with writing an assignment on a “Word” document. Without ever having interacted intimately with a computer, Microsoft Word was a totally foreign concept to him. Through the support and assistance of the College, he slowly become adept to learning the software.

    New Era College prides itself on being accommodative of students from all backgrounds and through its Student Affairs department, takes extra care to ensure the living experience of the student does not affect their learning life.

    The College will be participating at this year’s BHRDS fair and career clinic in Gaborone from the 23rd -27th March at Ditshupo Hall where they will be giving extensive career advice and information about the array of programmes that assist prospective students with finding top occupations in demand in the STEM sector.