FRANCISTOWN: Students at Botho University’s Francistown campus on Monday went on strike over unaccredited courses.
The students further demanded the urgent intervention of the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA). The strike forced the indefinite closure of the school.
Hundreds of protesting students barricaded roads leading to the campus. They also blocked the school entrance with dustbins, rocks and logs.
According to the School Representative Council (SRC) president, Gift Molefhi the reasons for their demonstrations are not entirely centred on unaccredited courses, but also unqualified lecturers, which has resulted in the University providing low quality education.
He said the students will not rest until the BQA directly addresses their concerns.
A worried Molefhi said out of the 48 courses that are offered at the school only four are accredited.
According to Molefhi they (students) have on several occasions sought clarity from the BQA and school management regarding the unaccredited courses but they did not get a fulfilling response.
“We were also expecting to be given answers today (Monday) but we did not get them. We are calling on the BQA as well as the school management to appear before the students body and give us clarity on these issues,” he said.
In the wake of recent events Akofang Phuthego, a fourth year student in BSc (Hons) in Computing remains very uncertain if his four and half year
He said studying unaccredited courses is probably the main reason why other Botho students who have completed their studies some years ago are still struggling to penetrate the job market.
Another student who is studying a BSc (Hons) in Network Security and Computer Forensics who chose to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation alleged the University is a scam.
“We are being robbed together with our sponsor. The school knew all along that its courses are not accredited and they went ahead and sold them to us. The courses are still being sold to prospective students who are desperate for studies.
What the school is doing is equal to a pure scam and it has to stop.”
During the protests, the University management served the students with a communiqué closing the campus indefinitely.
The letter bears the signature of Joseph Gwekwerere, Centre Manager for the Francistown campus.
“Please note that the campus will be closed until further notice. We will provide further communication regarding the BQA (proposed meeting with students and the BQA as well as Botho management) and campus reopening to all students through the blackboard,” reads some parts of the letter.