Monday, September 28, 2020

Limkokwing tries to clean house

Two weeks after The Sunday Standard ran a story about its operations, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology has begun an elaborate process of rearranging and disposing some of its academic furniture.

Head of the business faculty, Benedict Odhiambo, is being transferred to the Lesotho campus and the contract of a lecturer who holds dubious academic qualifications was terminated last week.
Sources say that Odhiambo is being transferred because the management believes that he does not get along well with Batswana lecturers.

His wife is the beneficiary (the only one reportedly) of a staff development programme that has bestowed upon her the dual roles of student and part-time staffer.

Samwel Obonyo Ogenga, a Kenyan who until April 14 taught Legal Aspects of Business, no longer works for the university. Officially, his contract was not renewed because his work permit expires this month. However, sources familiar with behind-the-scenes goings-on say that after the Sunday Standard story came out, he taught for half a day before he was withdrawn from lectures. By happy coincidence for the school, his work permit expires this month.

Ogenga obtained employment at the university by submitting copies of years-old provisional certificates, testimonials and recommendation letters and an impossibly chronicled curriculum vitae whose breakdown suggests that he would have started his primary school in his native Kenya at the age of one.

Not long ago, the department of immigration and citizenship raided the university and discovered that some of the expatriate lecturers did not hold proper work documents. The school management met last Wednesday to discuss the issue and prepare for what eventuality may be about to happen.

The Department of Labour and social security recently rejected applications for work permits by two lecturers and management fears that could happen to other lecturers. Minutes of the meeting quote a Mr. James, visiting head of human resources from Malaysia, as encouraging heads of faculty “to start looking for the alternative lecturers who would take over from those that would have been affected.” This sort of recruitment would be in stark contrast to what the university’s public relations manager, Mercy Thebe, said was the norm two weeks ago.

“The university recruits its staff through recruitment advertisements that are placed in all leading local newspapers during the recruitment period,” she said, adding that her department was in charge of the recruitment process.

Information has also emerged that last year, journalism students petitioned the school management “against the teaching of business modules.” Part of the petition reads: “Journalism students are surprised by recent developments in the beginning of the semester as we are taught business modules instead of journalism modules….

We are wondering why we were taught journalism modules in the previous semester only to find ourselves studying business modules in this semester…. We also feel that this creates a gap on what we learnt in the previous semester and on what we will be learning in the next semester.”

The students also queried the content itself and ‘insisted’ that Business Planning and Principles of Entrepreneurship be combined “as we are taught almost the same thing in both modules.” Equally astounding is what the students said (and has been independently confirmed by lecturers) about being taught the same module under different names.

“We have realised that the module named History of Journalism contains all what we learnt in Media & Society in the last semester. The module named Leadership Skills contains what we learnt in Organisational Behaviour in the first semester so it is a repetition of what we learnt therefore not useful,” the petition reads.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.