Monday, September 20, 2021

GUC prospective engineers face bleak future

Gaborone University College of Law and Professional Studies students pursuing Bachelor of Technology in Construction Engineering (BTCE) are starring at a bleak future.

The Engineers Registration Board (ERB) of Botswana has confirmed that it does not recognize and license graduates who have enrolled with the institution.

This follows demonstrations by students at the GUC Mmopane campus calling for a halt on examinations scheduled for Monday until ERB recognizes their course.

Registration manager at ERB Mercy Kgosidialwa said to date, the engineers’ regulator has not licensed any induvial from the BTCE program offered by GUC.

Asked why the course is not recognized, Kgosidialwa stated that there were gaps found in the standards of the program offered by GUC. “For the BTCE program to licensed and recognized, GUC must align the course with the standards at ERB,” she said.

Kgosidialwa explained that the process of recognition will take about a year to happen because that would mean graduates will have to go back to school for remedials until they meet the standards required for licensing. ERB’s registration manager said that GUC has requested a meeting with the board’s chief executive officer to discuss the issue.

Faculty Dean for Business and Commerce, Mogotsa Kewagamang, said GUC has about 48 students who have graduated and are out in the market. This year, the institution is expecting 130 students to graduate from the BTCE program.

Kewagamang said 221 students are enrolled in the course, and of the group, those in their third year were against writing exams for an unrecognized program. GUC’s unlicensed course pins students against an unemployability wall, as there is no way they can practice without a license. Their frustrations, animated in social media videos are with credence as their prospects for employment are fleeting vistas.

“The ERB is still in the process of giving out licenses to students who have completed the course. We are yet to receive a formal response from ERB concerning their position on the program,” Kewagamang said.

He added that by the time they receive a formal response from ERB, the school will address them.

Kgosidialwa however dismissed what was said by Kewagamang in a live Facebook video. The faculty dean told media that “ERB has said to us and the students that the board will be meeting on the 28th to make a determination and they will write a formal letter after the meeting on the 28th.” Kgosidialwa said the information was incorrect as a meeting had been scheduled this past Friday with ERB’s CEO.

She further mentioned that a board meeting would not singlehandedly suffice to deliberate on the licensing issue pointing out a delay in the process. 

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