GIPS students threaten to boycott exams

They consider writing to DTEF to ask for tuition fee lift


FRANCISTOWN: Students of the Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies (GIPS) Francistown campus have threatened to boycott upcoming examinations as a result of the ongoing fiasco surrounding accreditation of courses.

The threats by students follow protests in some tertiary institutions in Gaborone where violent revolts and clashes with the police ensued following similar complaints- resulting in some of the institutions being closed being closed indefinitely.

However last week, GIPS students in Francistown raised complaints including among others unaccredited courses, unqualified lectures, failure by the institution to comply with Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA) regulations as well as its failure to provide them transcripts after examinations.

On top of the on-going class boycotts, the Interim Chairman of the committee representing the Students Representative Council (SRC), Onkabetse Shabane, told this they were considering boycotting all the coming examination in protest of their grievances. According to Shabane boycott started last week with the mid-semester exams and will possibly also affect the final examinations if their concerns are not yet addressed.

He is adamant that the boycott will continue until all their grievances are resolved or the institution is closed as it is not complying with BQA standards. “Our plan is to write to Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF) to suspend the tuition fee of all students until all their issues are addressed. The government is investing a lot of money in this institution but the environment is not conducive. There is no need to continue in this kind of environment while the government is paying a lot of money for this institution. It is better for this institution to shut down and be transferred to the ones that comply with BQA. We are now fed up with the school management because since we started our courses back in 2014 we have never received transcripts. We have been raising this issue all along but to no avail there is no feedback,” lamented Shabane.

Shabane wondered why the school management released the exam time table while they were still awaiting response concerning their grievances. “Last week Friday we learnt that the time table is out hence we should prepare for the exams. How can we write exams while our courses are not accredited. Since we started here in 2014 we were promised that after six months all pending courses will be fully accredited but to no avail. So there is no is use to write exams for unaccredited courses because there will be no difference with someone who never attended tertiary,” he maintained.

Authorities from the institution could not be reached for enquiries as the office phone rang unanswered.