Monday, October 25, 2021

BQA investigating lecturer shortage at Limkokwing

The Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) says that it is investigating reported shortage of lecturers at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

This revelation comes in response to a Sunday Standard enquiry relating to a module taught to Target 20 000 students. Earlier this year, the university retrenched some of its lecturers, including those who taught Creative Studies. Our information is that owing to the resultant shortage of lecturers, the module ÔÇô which is ordinarily taught over 14 weeks ÔÇô was compressed and taught in just two weeks. A related allegation was that staff members from the Centre for Creative Content Creation had to teach students.

Doing what is alleged would go against statutorily established BQA processes. According to the Communications and Public Relations Manager, Selwana Pilatwe-Koppenhaver, these processes require an education and training provider (ETP) that wishes to offer a learning programme to submit it to BQA for accreditation. Among others, details would include notional learning hours as well as lecturers’ qualifications and the level at which they can teach.

“In cases where there is need to adjust, review course content and duration of training the ETP is bound by law to inform BQA of such a change so that necessary changes are made to the accreditation information of the ETP and learning programme. This also applies to movement of teachers or lecturers. In fact, ETPs are required by law to report any major change(s) to the Authority. Failure to do so will constitute non-compliance and the necessary legal action would be taken,” Pilatwe-Koppenhaver said.

For her part, Limkokwing’s spokesperson, Mercy Thebe, said that the university’s management upholds academic standards and integrity in the planning and delivery of modules and that on such basis, proper pre-semester planning was conducted for the February-June 2017 semester. By her account, all modules’ delivery for first semester was conducted as per the semester plan that was put in place and that such plan included the delivery of Creative Studies.

“It is also worth noting that every module has credits that a student
should accumulate determined by notional hours, at the end of a
semester or study period. Both these modules have fulfilled the
requisite notional hours,” said Thebe adding that “it is worth noting that there is no severe shortage of lecturers in Limkokwing University.”

Regarding the use of the Centre for Content Creation to fill in for the retrenched lecturers, she asserted that all staff engaged to deliver all modules within the university are qualified, that all teaching staff have requisite qualifications which is why most of the university’s programmes are accredited by BQA. She added that the Centre for Content Creation was established through staff who were initially employed to teach.

While only restating policy with regard to whether the alleged compression of the module is in line with its quality assurance standards and whether it approved Limkokwing’s teaching plan, BQA was more precise with regard to whether it considers the varsity to be adequately staffed.

“The issue of inadequacy of staff at the concerned ETP has already been raised with the Authority and investigations on the matter are ongoing,” Pilatwe-Koppenhaver said.

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