Recently, one of the leading local institutions, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology withheld certificates of their class of 2016 graduands because the University is being owed in excess of P18 million by government, the Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF), to be precise.
The debt is tuition fees going back to 2013 that the DTEF had been dragging their feet to pay for one reason or another.
What is most disheartening is the fact that we are talking about hundreds of our young people who spent between three and four years studying at the University for their degrees and diplomas, but have nothing to show for their efforts as they try and find jobs in the already stressed job market of this country.
It is also worrying that almost a month since the DTEF knew of the Limkokwing’s position, no one seems bothered that Batswana young people are in dire straits. How are they expected to look for jobs without their certificates, how are they expected to prove their academic credentials without their certificates.
The silence from both DTEF and the parent Ministry of Tertiary Education regarding this crisis is appalling.
Government also needs to come out and state the reasons for the long dragging payments of tuition fees to the likes of Limkokwing.
We are alive to the fact that Limkokwing may not be the only tertiary institution being owed millions of Pula by the DTEF. What is the problem? Why is DTEF crippling local institutions with its refusal or dragging of feet in paying tuition fees?
One wonders how many other institutions have been caught in this financial crisis created by the DTEF.
Who would be attracted to come and open university or college in Botswana after learning about these difficult conditions of doing business in Botswana? This arrogance can also cause even the few institutions in the country to think twice about their long term plans in this country.