The future of many students at the Kanye Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) College of Nursing is hanging in the balance.
Students are agitated that the institution was privatised without their knowledge and now they are struggling to stay in school, especially those that self-sponsor. While students seem to be in the dark about what is going on, this publication has established that the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology is currently studying a report that will give them direction on the matter.
The publication has established that some self-sponsored and government-sponsored students met with the Southern District Council chairperson Thamisani Chabalala and the Botswana Nurses Union representatives to put across their frustrations with the college.
Speaking to The Monitor, the BONU representative at the meeting Karabo Koogotsitse said the students have shared their grievances. “They told us that while they thought they were in a public institution, they were shocked to learn in the middle of the semester that the institution has been privatised and are now expected to pay more. From P4,200 per semester to P22,000,” he said.
He said students have been receiving invoices from the school and face being sent back if they don’t pay up. Koogotsitse said the students also had complaints about the administration of learning, bemoaning they missed some tests leading to strikes at the institution.
It is said that at the meeting, Chabalala said the previous board at the church applied for privatisation of the institution. He said when the new board took over, they realised they were not ready to be a private institution and it was too late for them to turn back.
This publication has learnt that the tertiary ministry is currently studying a report from BQA, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to guide them on deciding on partnering with the SDA (to make it a public institution).
Minister Douglas Letsholathebe has since said they are not turning a blind eye on the students. “We are currently engaging with stakeholders on the matter. We work with a budget and it cannot just be easy to take them under our ministry when there are already financial commitments. We have to follow process and make sure that their offerings are in line with BQA hence we are studying a report from them,” he said.
Letsholathebe said for government-sponsored students, they believe all are in class and will continue paying their tuition and upkeep allowances. He said BQA will also ensure learner protection and ensure no student is left in the lurch.