Thursday, July 7, 2022

TEC counters Magang’s remarks on ‘educated illiterates’

The Tertiary Education Council (TEC) Executive Secretary, Dr Patrick Molutsi, has expressed concern about what he calls biased media reports from businessman David ┬áMagang‘s critical remarks over tertiary education at the recent Tertiary Education Fair.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Dr Molutsi said the reports were unfair as they did not include his speech at the Fair, which explained the improvements and challenges of the tertiary sector in this country.

The TEC leader countered Magang’s remarks, which have painted a gloomy picture of this country’s tertiary education.

At the fair, Magang criticised the country’s tertiary education, saying it emphasised more on quantity rather than quality. He also said this country’s education system is founded on archaic colonial legacy and produces incompetent and unemployable graduates.

┬á“At TEC we are making quality a priority…therefore, we cannot compromise the quality of tertiary education in this country. People should not mistake truth with opinions,” said Dr Molutsi.

He told journalists about TEC’s quality assurance programme, which he said is rooted on the mandate of the council. He added that TEC has developed Quality Assurance Manual for all registered institutions in order to help TEC registered institutions to improve quality management systems.

Molutsi also said the manual covers issues of internal and external quality assurance measures.

The TEC Executive Secretary said the country’s tertiary education is a benchmarking tool for many countries and the problem that it faces is not unique as it is experienced by even the best in the world.

┬áHe said they involve certain experts when scrutinising a program for approval and invite skills outside the borders for scrutiny of this country’s tertiary management.

On the issue of too many graduates not getting absorbed by the employment market, Dr Molutsi said their mandate is creating employability not employment. He said TEC is using a regulatory framework to make sure that students move into what the market demands.

Also discussed at the press briefing was the recent standoff between Limkokwing students and the management, which has now become an issue of national interest.

Dr Molutsi said the Limkokwing students did not complain about quality of materials at the university. He said if they had complained, TEC could have done inspections and held the university accountable if quality was compromised.

Defending TEC credibility was also the president of Botswana Association of Private Tertiary Education Providers (BAPTEP), Odirile Gabasiane, who said even Rome was not built on one day, so there is a lot of room for improvement for TEC. He praised TEC for making them accepted by the public and doing away with many fly by nights which nearly marred the image of the tertiary sector.

About the Limkokwing issue, the eloquent and charismatic Gabasiane spoke in jest saying he visited the university early this week and found police armed, ready to kill.

Gabasiane, also the Managing Director of Ba Isago University College, chronicled and narrated his student days as a member of UB SRC. He went on to lambast today’s tertiary SRCs calling them irresponsible and lacking leadership qualities.

“The SRC of my time would not just get into a strike without exhausting all the communication channels with the management….nowadays students leaders are quick to take strike action,” said Gabasiane.

When given the floor to explain their situation, the Limkokwing university representative, Masoma Kgotla, gave a background of the book allowance issue that started with SRC-management negotiations of 2010. He said for the class boycott, the university had suspended 15 students and internal disciplinary action is pending for them.

“We believe we have strongly engaged with the SRC but they just took a strike action as they said the DTEF and the university is not listening to their requests,” said Kgotla.

Meanwhile the SRC president who was invited at this media brief did not come and was said to be at another meeting with students.

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