On Tuesday September 4, 2007, the President was invited to address the public about the importance of natural resources on the socio economic development in Botswana.
A question that hit him in the face was his government’s plans to export labour in order to curb the unemployment of graduates.
Like most of the attendants, I had thought that was a good question that would help the President rise to the occasion.
Instead, to my surprise, the President who is a Head of State, UB Chancellor and a parent, started attacking students of Public Administration and Political Science courses.
To him, there was no need for students to pursue these courses because, as he put it, the market is saturated.
He continued to say that for one to become a politician he does not need a degree.
This reflects that the president has long realised this situation.
Unfortunately, he has failed as the Chancellor to lobby for change of the policies on the intake on such courses.
To me, it was also irrelevant for the President to mention this to students who are already enrolled in such a programme.
At first it sounded like a joke.
This brought humiliation to undergraduates, graduates and even lecturers under the Department of Political Administration.
I believe the president does not allow criticism of his government.
He tends to over-generalise.
This day turned out to be outspoken, especially by the students majoring in these courses because they felt it was unreasonable to ‘waste’ their time in studying a course that would not take them anywhere. Most of the students were annoyed, some felt discouraged while others suffered humiliation and embarrassment on the president lecture.
L T Kehitile (Political Science major)