The Ministry of Youth and Culture has ordered soldiers to abandon the snake handling training, which was due for the young people who are gathered in Kang village under the Youth Empowerment scheme (YES).
The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Peter Mongwaketse revealed in an interview Wednesday evening.
“It is true, they were to be trained on snake handling but it has been cancelled. You should acknowledge that some of the training is necessary because there are some participants who are interested in being tour guides and getting a basic training on handling predators such as snake would be good for them,” pointed out Mongwaketse.
The 500 participants who are being trained by soldiers and some youth officers on discipline and basic survival skills are expected to graduate next week Friday and would be attached to different government Ministries.
The Voice team visited the boot camp on a fact finding mission last week after getting information that the youth were undergoing military training and that the place was a no go area for oursiders
Although some Junior soldiers almost made it difficult for the team to get interviews and photographs, the senior officers intervened and let it do the job.
During the interview some of the participants freely expressed their disappointment at the training programme and said it did not empower them with relevant training skills. One participant from Shakawe said she came to the workshop with an expectation to further her career as a pre-school teacher, but she has been attached to a hospital to weigh children.
“I earned P1200 as a pre school teacher, but now I have been attached to a government hospital where I would be given a P500 allowance,” she said. The 28 year-old said although she would be getting less under the YES programme internship, she would go into it because she is thinking of the future.
“I am hoping that at the end of the 12 months internship, I would be permanently hired by government,” she further stated. Another intern said his interest was music but all he did at the camp was physical training and behavioural change lessons.
“But I am not complaining because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel,” the 31 year old from Kgatleng District explained. Meanwhile Mongwaketse said it was not a given that the interns would be given permanent employment under the civil service after the twelve months.
“Our expectations is that after the 12 months they will be self- employed. We want to expose them to the world of work,” Mongwaketse added.
He said one of the objectives of the YES programme is to encourage community participation. Meanwhile another group of 500 young people are expected to go for a boot camp at Pandamatenge military camp at the beginning of next month. Although Mongwaketse did not deny that fact, he only said it “was likely” for the training to be held at the military base. He said the selection of the venue would not translate into military training of the participants but because the Defence Force has facilities that could accommodate the project.