Meet the man behind the evolutionary Road Master Driving Academy in Block V Gaborone opposite Julia Molefhe Clinic.
He talks about the intricate journey to becoming one of the first driving schools with instructors accredited with the Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA), a bid by the regulator to standardize driver education in the country.
Ellias who started his driving school business in 2010 at Road Master Driving School, offering basic Class B driving license, was operating under a tree like most driving school instructors in the country, using the boot of his car as an office.
Today the school is registered as an academy, has an office in Gaborone-West, classrooms to teach the mandatory theoretical part of attaining a valid driver’s license, offers truck and bus operators driving lessons, defensive driving lessons as well as training of driving instructors.
The latter being the most needed since there are not many places for one to study to become a driving instructor apart from the Department of Road Transport and Safety (DRTS).
In an interview with Voice Money under the shady tree where it all began, ‘Master’ as he is distinctively known among his learners and instructors, states that his interest in wanting to get in line with BQA standardization requirements for the driving instructing industry was roused when he came across a report that the industry needed regulation.
He embarked on a difficult journey to become compliant, something he adds was possible due to the vision, passion, dedication and teamwork between him and his employees.
As we speak, an abrupt gulf of wind blows a cloud of red dust that has been ground finely by constant vehicle movement.
As the wind blows further toppling over a few cones marking the training ground, the enthusiastic Ellias explains that getting his five Batswana employees accredited to become certified driving instructors was a grueling process that took almost a year, something that never broke his spirit as he wanted his academy to be compliant with BQA regulations.
In the same breath, he states that the employees had to attend classes with the DRTS Academy and at the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Driver Training Academy.
Fake licenses and fraudulent transport officials are just some of the challenges Road Master Driving Academy has had to contend with in the congested driving school industry.
Citing the importance of education on driver safety and ethics, the optimistic Ellias believes that transport officers also need training on the importance of awarding deserving learners driver’s licenses.
Speaking on plans for the future, Master hints that he has sights on a plot somewhere in Gaborone where he will execute his master plan.
“The four hectare plot has ample space to train bus and truck drivers as well as the standard Class B license learners. There will also be room for a motorcycle training course as well as classrooms for the theory test preparations,” he divulges after a probe on his intensions with the four hectares plot.