Remember when we were young and we were told ‘Education is the key to success’? Remember again when we were told we (the children) were the future of our country? Well I don’t think they (our government) believe that anymore. The state in which our education system is in leads me to believe so. Just a few weeks ago the Junior Certificate Examination Results were released and no one was pleased at all. Same goes for the BGCSE results. They are proof of how the government is truly failing the ‘future’ of our country. But what is probably more disturbing is our tertiary education system which is regularly riddled with problems. The latest problem; Accreditation.
Higher education accreditation refers to
“A type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of post-secondary educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited is granted by the agency.”
The external body in my country; Botswana Qualifications Authority. For some time now university students have been complaining that they are studying courses that have not been accredited, case in point Botho University Francistown Campus. I am talking second, third year students who are close to graduation only finding this out now. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine what you would be feeling. My first problem here is how do reputable institutions offer courses that they know fully well are not accredited? The answer to this from the Botho University Staff, ‘The courses are in the process of being accredited.’ So what happens when the course ends up not passing the accreditation process? What then? What happens to the existing students studying said course? I know that these private institutions are in the business of making money, but can we do that with some integrity please!
Now moving on to the external regulatory board, BQA. How is it that the Department of Tertiary Education Funding is not working with BQA when it comes to government sponsorships? The same way DTEF can conduct a study of the skills gap in the economy to determine which courses to sponsor should be the very same thing they do when it comes to accredited courses. How is it that the government can willingly dish out sponsorships for courses that they know fully well are not accredited? It is only then fair to assume that there is bribery and corruption involved. I guess education isn’t that important at all anymore to our government.