But do we really deserve it?
University of Botswana’s Students Representative Council recently circulated a memorandum around the main campus indicating that they had requested for an increase of student and book allowance to the Department of tertiary Institution Finance.
This memorandum stated that the student allowance should be increased from P1200 to P1500 for students living on campus and from P1500 to P2500 for students living off campus.
Book allowance was pegged at P6000 for students doing sciences and P5000 for non-science students.
If the increment comes through I foresee a lot of students not applying for accommodation.When reading this memorandum I got excited just like any another student would but my excitement soon faded as I started to think like a rational, responsible young person. Of course it would be lovely to get an increment on my monthly allowance.
The cost of living has is on the increase just like stated in the memo and one needs to budget carefully to the last thebe they receive and yeah, it does get stressful time and again.
But I then remembered the civil servants strike where they were demanding a 16 percent salary increase but only got three percent.
Don’t get me wrong, I ‘m not saying that students will go on strike if they don’t get the increment nor am I suggesting that they do. What I’m saying here is that although the University’s S.R.C is acting in the best interest of the students and all tertiary students in Botswana I suppose, do you think their plea is reasonable?
More importantly let’s bear in mind that the government is actually doing us a favor by giving us allowance let alone paying for our tuition. Sometimes, I feel like as students we tend to forget this and we act like we are employees who have to get paid. I know that we are going to have to payback this money as it is a loan, but unfortunately most people don’t. Anyhow I asked a few people to get their opinion on this matter and this is what they had to say:
(UB S.R.C Minister of Information and Publicity)
Why do you think students allowances must be increased?
We took into consideration various costs that students incur like food baskets, transport and miscellaneous expenses. Everything is going up and students need to be cushioned hence we are proposing P2500 for off campus students. It is very difficult for students to survive with their current allowance, this might even affect their studies.
Do you think the government should continue sponsoring students considering that in other countries people pay for their own tuition?
Yes, I believe that the government should continue sponsoring tertiary students. Botswana is still a developing country so most people here are less fortunate. Again we get sponsored and we benefit our country in the long run by working here and hopefully reduce the number of foreigners holding high positions in our own country.
There’s been talk that the reason why most youth in Botswana are lazy and not motivated nor empowered is because they are spoon feed, do you think this is the case?
Definitely, I believe Batswana youth are less motivated than other youth. I know that if I fail, there’s a chance that the government will still pay for my education maybe a year later. We don’t work hard like the foreigners here in the University, they do more work because they are paying for themselves, and failing is not an option for them. However I feel that the P2500 is just too much.