Institutions should respect student rights

From time immemorial, a learning institution has been a melting pot of ideas. By their nature, tertiary institutions are places where intellectual discourse, among both students and lecturers, is a culture. Freedom of expression is encouraged to facilitate cross-pollution of ideas.

Before government allowed private tertiary institutions to set up shop here, the University of Botswana (UB) was the only highest learning institution in Botswana. The UB played a very significant role in the economy of Botswana.Most of our celebrated technocrats and intellectuals were educated at the UB. The university was a complete learning institution providing its learners with the necessary intellectual rigours. It accorded its students and lecturers freedom of expression. The UB alumni is known for its thought-provoking scholarly discourse.

Some of these new private institutions appear to be solely focused on profit-making at the expense of the enterprise of scholarship. Freedom of speech among students is unheard of at these new universities. When students exercise their freedom of speech, especially through the Student Representative Councils (SRC), they are dealt with ruthlessly. The students' right to express dissatisfaction with their welfare and the tuition they offer is treated as tantamount to treason. But it is easy to see whose body language such institutions have been reading and taking to heart with enthusiasm.

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Your vote matters

This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

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