Saturday, January 22, 2022

ABM students query nonexistent course

ABM University College students are up in arms following allegations that they were enrolled for a course that does not exist or is not recognized.

It is understood that matters came to a head when students received a tip off that they were pursuing a ‘ghost’ government-sponsored Computer Engineering course.

“We were informed by a reliable source that the Computer Engineering course does not exist in ABM and it is not accredited with Tertiary Education Council (TEC). We also learnt that the government might have sponsored us for a ghost course,” said one of the affected students.

The students have since taken up the matter with the Office of the President and Department of Tertiary Education Funding (DTEF).

┬á“In the process of seeking response to our grievances, it came to our attention that our course (Computer Engineering) is not accredited with and TEC,” the letter from the students reads.
DTEF acting Director Eugene Moyo has confirmed receiving the students’ letter.

“Yes I can confirm that we are in possession of the students complaints. I have since written to the ABM authorities requesting for answers. I will then be in good position to give the students a concrete response,” he said.

Asked to comment on allegations that the programme in question is not accredited, Moyo said the Tertiary Education Council (TEC) was in a better position to address the matter.

“What I know is that the UK based ABM has changed the duration of a certain course (Computer systems Engineering) and that has caused serious confusion not only among students but even within my department. My department thus met the ABM management to seek clarity,” said Moyo.

He further indicated that it would be “unfortunate for the institution to offer a programme that DTEF has never agreed to sponsor.”

Reached for comment, Phillip Tsumake who is the Academic Manager at ABM University declined to comment saying the matter is still an internal one.

Head of Marketing and Communications at Tertiary Education council (TEC)  Faith Rapuleng could neither confirm nor deny that the Computer Engineering programme is accredited or not.

In a letter addressed to President Ian Khama, dated 11 September 2013, the students raise issues such as limited learning resources (e.g. Laboratories), questionable ABM student’s membership cards and reluctance on the part of management to address their issues.

┬á“Ever since we started our course in August 2102, we had a sustained serious shortage of lecturers for the whole semester for both certificate and development level: out of five prescribed modules, we had only two stable lecturers”, reads the letter in part.

The students also charged that “within a period of four months we had four different lecturers of which are no longer with ABM as we speak.”

“The number of laboratories does not match the number of student users. As a result different classes would clash at the laboratories. Most of the software’s required for the course were not installed. We also did not have any practical yet our course outlines that we should do practical’s frequently,” reads the letter.

The students allege that it took “us a whole year without any assessment until we wrote the exam which we were told is from ABMA. Under normal circumstances, we expect the students to be assessed frequently. This is to allow the learners to be well prepared for the exams as they will have an idea of what to expect during exam time.”

The matter has also rubbed some self-sponsored students the wrong way, accusing the institution of unfair treatment.

┬á“I paid them well over P15 000. I need my money back. They must refund me for pursuing their bogus course. I am determined to fight this battle until I get what is mine,” said Kealeboga Kelekwang who is a self-sponsored student.

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