The Minister of Education and Skills Development, Dr Unity Dow, has taken a tough stance against the students of Gaborone Technical College (GTC) and Francistown College of Technical Education (FCTVE) after the closure of their colleges last week. In a statement she read in parliament on Monday, Dr Dow said that the students will be required to reapply for re-admission upon reopening of the two colleges on a date to be communicated to the public in due course.
The decision to close the two colleges, according to Dow, came as a result of the unrest caused by students of the two tertiary institutions which had started on the 22nd of February after they stopped government business, disrupting work and lessons. “They carried sticks and pulled other students from classes, chased employees from offices, continued to barricade gates while they also sang derogatory songs. This resulted in staff abandoning the colleges’ premises in fear, no one was allowed inside,” said Dow.
At the centre of the unrest is the issue of accreditation of some of the courses offered at the colleges. Another issue raised by the students include the delayed payment of student allowances, inadequate practical time in some courses and welfare issues. She revealed that the issue of accreditation of courses has been resolved by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA). Asked if any transport arrangement has been made for students coming from far places, Dow said that they will have to take that long and lonely journey back home.