Students at Gaborone Technical College (GTC) and the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) this week brought classes to a halt after realizing that they have been pursuing certificate courses instead of the Diploma which they enrolled for.
The disgruntled students say the matter came to a head when they consulted Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA) recently after noticing irregularities in course levels.
Tlamelo Leburu (25), a Diploma in Business Accounting student says they recently realized they were doing a different course level and when they consulted BQA about the matter they were told they are doing Advanced Certificate and not a Diploma.
The students say they then sought clarity from the school management who refused to address them.
Leburu also said through the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC), they found out that some courses within the school were not accredited. “Some students were schooling here in 2014 and results have long been released within the school, but certificate are not there because courses are not accredited,” he said.
The secretary for Student Representative Council (SRC) Vanessa Diaparo (21) added that the students paid hefty sums of money to City and Guilds with the belief that they were pursuing Diploma courses.
GTC Principal, Asapele Tobedza, denied the allegations and said the college has never administered unaccredited courses. “We had accredited for Diploma levels but only realized recently that it is actually advanced certificate,” he said and added that they have engaged a task team to handle the matter.
In Francistown, students at the FCTVE have boycotted lessons complaining of irregularities in the way the state of the art college is being run.
In an exclusive interview with The Voice the Student Representative Council (SRC) President, Tebo Bokamo Tlhobogang, said students have challenges but management has made no effort to address them. “We decided to petition the college management because these are outstanding issues raised by past SRCs,” said Tlhabologang.
The student leader said some burning issues include the Secretarial Studies students who are currently doing their Diplomas even though they don’t have results from the first semester. “What then happens if the results come and they have failed,” Tlhabologang asked rhetorically.
He further said they are worried that some of the courses offered by the college may not be accredited. “For instance Clothing and Textile students are currently doing a Diploma but at BQA they only have Certificate and Advanced Certificate. Are these courses really taken seriously,” he asked.
Minister of Academics Bakang Wadipeba appealed to school management to address students on this issues.”There is no communication but as students representatives we need these issues to be resolved,” he said.
He said another burning issue is the P300 monthly allowance which seemed to be paid out only when management wishes.”We are never sure whether we’ll get it or not, sometime we get the allowance after three months and there are no back pays, ” said Wadipeba.
At press time the Principal and management were locked in a meeting while students roamed the college corridors.