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A DAY WITH THE MINISTER OF TERTIARY EDUCATION RESEARCH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

 

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The Minister of Tertiary Education Research Science and Technology Dr Douglas Letsholathebe also Member of Parliament for Tati East accompanied by the Permanent Secretary Dr Theophilous Mooko and Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr Oupa Masesane visited Botswana Open University HQ recently.

The Minister had a meeting with the management of the University led by the Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Daniel Tau, Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Corporate Services Ms Lesedi Lesetedi, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Student Services Prof. Tebogo Moahi and Deputy Vice Chancellor Corporate,  Academic Services Prof. Frank Youngman.

Giving the background of the University, the VC Dr Daniel Tau said BOU was among the newest in the field and that it was carrying on with the proud legacy of Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL). He said the University is mandated to provide tertiary level programmes, professional training and open schooling level programmes. He further said that in offering these programmes, the University inspires excellence and presents life-long learning opportunities globally. “These are the attributes that make us unique since we are the only University that operates from basic education to tertiary level education”, the VC added.

Dr Tau informed the Minister that the University’s operation anchors on world-class technology that enables teaching to be conducted virtually to other regions from a central point, a sound learner support system with counsellors in all the regional campuses and online library resources for BOU students and staff. He informed the Minister’s entourage that most of BOU services are offered online citing applications, registration and payments which he said are all done online..

“ Botswana Open University currently has a Strategic Framework 2036 themed: towards global recognition”, said Dr Tau. The strategic framework has themes to guide the implementation of the strategy and these are: learning and teaching, student and stakeholder engagement, research, innovation and sustainable development, open education, entrepreneurship and employability and governance and leadership, he added.

The VC said Botswana Open University is dealing with a huge challenge of negative perception from the public, as it is associated with failures. He said it is however the duty of the University to come up with means to educate the public and let them know about its achievements and how it has touched people’s lives since its inception. The VCappealed for the Minister's support for BOU to acquire proper facilities for regional campuses in places like Palapye. 

In his response the Minister applauded the University management on how they handled the transformation as well as for the achievements realised by the University so far. These included the appointment of the Council, Senate, SRC and other structures that did not exist when the institution was still College.

The Honorable Minister said the Open University contributes a lot to the national economic transformation towards a knowledge based society from that of resource based especially through the on the job training that is able to produce large numbers of qualified personnel without them leaving their jobs to pursue further studies.

The Minister expressed concern about the Palapye Regional Campus saying it needed to be relocated to a more conducive area as soon as it was possible. 

 

The Minister and his team ended their visit by touring the BOU facilities at the Headquarters where the team was taken through the process of offering tutorials remotely using ICT. 

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