The University of Botswana Stadium, where students are hoping to receive their sponsorship letters, looks more like a refugee camp.
With registration well under way, it has become very clear that many students are in a delirious limbo as to whether they will receive sponsorship from the Ministry of Education (MoE).
The issue of sponsoring students over recent years has become more precarious as the number of students being sponsored seems to be a hot potato.
There have been reports that the MoE’s available funds may not be able to cater for many of the students that have been admitted to UB.
The MoE, which has continued to sponsor students for many years, had previously told students that they would not be sponsoring students with less than 36 points.
However, the MoE has maintained that the funds available to them will suffice in sponsoring all the students who have applied for sponsorship and been admitted.
“Yes it’s true; initially a number of students were going to be left out,” said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Ruth Maporisa.
“We will be issuing sponsorship letters as long as students have received admission and have applied to us,” she said.
Maporisa also revealed that a meeting took place between the MoE and UB and it was established that student sponsorships were relocated to other departments where there is a high number of sponsorship applications.
The revelation will ease the concerns and patience of students’ which had been worn thin by the MoE who have been accused of having offered very little help in easing the worries and queries of students.
The Sunday Standard had earlier gotten interviews from some of the students who were waiting for confirmation of their sponsorship.
Teedzani Habana, who hopes to be enrolled into the Bachelor of Education programme, said, “When you call their office they don’t give you any information and when you’re here waiting for your sponsorship letter they (MoE officials) tell you to come back tomorrow.”
Chedu Keitumetse has blasted the MoE for the heavy expenses she has suffered by having to travel from Mochudi to UB everyday.
“They should pay us for all the money we spend to come here every day,” she said.
It seems for some, like Gorata Mmelesi, it has come down to having faith in the hope that all that ends well is well.
“I m very confident, I have prayed, I shall leave it in the hands of God,” she said in response to being asked if she was concerned that she might not receive a sponsorship for tertiary education.
She did, however, remonstrate that the MoE is showing favour towards other courses.
“I m furious, they prioritised other courses; they started with Social Work, Bachelor of Law and BSC students, they were the first to receive their sponsorship letters,” she lamented.
With registration well under away, it seems unlikely that the MOE will be able to cater for the vast number of students who have yet to be served with their sponsorship agreement letters by the time the lectures begin on the 2nd of August.