Monday, December 14, 2020 - 12:15

The Former First Vice President of the International Criminal Court, and former High Court Judge in the Republic of Gambia and the Kingdom of Eswatini, Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng says the time has come for training and education providers to embrace technology and adapt to the new normal.
Speaking during the official ceremony of the 14th Joint Graduation ceremony of the Institute of Development Management (IDM) held online, last week Friday, Judge Monageng applauded IDM for delivering a historic virtual graduation through technology. Multitudes, including families, friends and well-wishers were glued to their screens and apps to celebrate the event which was hosted by Botswana Campus, and was held under the theme: ‘A Resilient and Inclusive Education System; A Key to a Knowledge Based Economy’. 
Judge Monageng commended IDM for delivering a seamless ceremony amidst the challenges experienced by everyone the world over. 
“Unlike other years, the 2020 event is celebrated in an exclusive and unique manner, where physical contact does not exist, although this does not bar us from flying those caps,” she told the graduands, adding that besides the sad reality experienced by the global community, Covid19 has brought about good lessons on how institutions can navigate their way to achieve more, especially in the education industry, where they deal with and manage multitudes of learners.
She highlighted that in addition to providing teaching to learners, institutions in most cases deal with a fragile population of youth who look up to them for guidance and counselling to achieve their much desired life ambitions.
She challenged graduands to remain resilient and reach for the stars. “You have been given the tools, use them to chart your individual paths. I am a typical example of who you are today, a girl born and bred in a small rural village, Serowe, in Botswana. A girl who dared those stars and ended up serving as a Judge in the highest Criminal Court in the world - the International Criminal Court, in The Hague, The Netherlands. By the way, this followed a stint as a High Court Judge in Mbabane, Eswatini. I was given the tools by the Botswana Government through the University of Botswana, like you today. It was not easy and it will not be easy for you either, but you soldier on.”
Reflecting on the international view, Judge Monageng said according to the United Nations, the COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries.
She called on all key players to roll up their sleeves and start a serious conversation about the future of young people who have been impacted adversely by the pandemic.  She further said there is a need for all stakeholders to start thinking about decisive actions to take that will make institutions of higher learning to be more resilient and buoyant.
Judge Monageng said Covid19 has taught the world to leverage technology to advance education, adding; “Although the playing field will not be level between the advanced and developing countries, the haves and have-nots, we can at least find comfort in the fact that there is somewhere we can start this journey, for education is not a race, but a journey!”
To the graduands, Judge Monageng pointed out: “This indeed is a proud moment for you, your parents, families and lecturers who have all played a part in this great achievement. Each and every one of you has worked hard with focus, willpower, determination and discipline until you reached the finishing line, and now it is time to enjoy the fruit of your labor. This is your moment and I congratulate you on your achievement, and above all, for graduating from a great institution that has prepared you exceptionally well for your future world of work.”
The ceremony marked a great milestone in the history of IDM, which leveraged technology and brought together 1,500 graduands in the three countries. The event was carefully directed by Botswana’s celebrated event’s Director of Ceremonies, Oratile Jazzelle Kebakile who kept viewers asking for more throughout the ceremony.