The Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Permanent Secretary (PS), Pearl Ramokoka through Jwaneng District Commissioner has ordered opening of the college today.
This comes after Ramokoka called on the school to be closed immediately yesterday after a failed meeting with the students’ body ending up in chaos. In an interview the college’s Students Representative Council (SRC) minister of apprentice, Thapelo Kgosiemang said the district commissioner for Jwaneng informed them that the PS would not attend to issues pertaining to the failed meeting with the students’ body.
“She just announced that the institution will reopen and classes are to commence today (Thursday). She told the students who were present to register themselves at Head of the College’s office if they are still interested in learning,” he said.
However, on Wednesday this week, the students were authorised to evacuate from the school premises by the PS. According to Kgosiemang, they were expecting answers and feedback concerning the petition they sent to the ministry recently.
The student leader accused the PS of provoking the students to cause chaos and commotion at the institution by not giving them answers pertaining to their dissatisfaction.
Kgosiemang said the PS lost her temper and tried to go back to Gaborone leaving the angry students without answers hence they did not cooperate. That resulted in the school management, Jwaneng Police calling the Special Supporting Group (SSG) to rescue the situation.
“The government security forces ended shooting us with rubber bullets and teargas chasing us out of the school premises. Seven students were injured and some were hospitalised and later released. The school was authorised to close immediately,” he said.
Last month, in a bid to air their grievances, the students held a peaceful demonstration from their school to the High Commissioner’s office. The students explained that they were unhappy with issues such as unaccredited courses, unaccredited and shortage of lectures, lack of workshop equipment and insufficient student allowance. The issues raised by Jwaneng Technical College students are a nationwide problem across all brigades schools in the country.