There really should be no cause for alarm in the matter that some students living with disabilities in Namibia recently cried that they wasted 4 years studying the Botswana campus of the University of Limkokwing and Creative Technology.
This is according to the university’s Regional Director of Academic Management, Onalenna Phambuka.
A report emerged last week Thursday in Namibia alleging that 15 students with disabilities graduated without accreditation under the Namibia Qualifications Authority at the campus in Gaborone.
The students took turns to narrate their frustrations to some media houses in Namibia, prompting the two countries of Botswana and Namibia to get to the bottom of the matter. Reports reveal that in an effort to empower the disabled learners, Namibia’s Directorate of Disability Affairs, through the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), funded the students to do various courses at the Gaborone campus beginning in 2016.
After graduating in 2019 upon presenting their qualifications to the Namibian Qualification Authority (NQA), they were told the courses they did were not accredited with the authority. The courses included Diplomas in television and broadcasting as well as retailing and merchandising. Only certificate courses were found to be accredited.
Namibia’s Deputy minister of Disability Affairs Alexia Manombe-Ncube said that after being made aware of the strange developments, they inquired with the high commission of Namibia in Botswana, which took the issue up with Limkokwing University in Botswana.
An explanation has since been given that should allay fears of the students who were convinced theirs was a three-year education stint in vain. The university’s regional director of academic management, Phambuka, revealed that contrary to the concerns raised, both diplomas have been approved by the BQA.
“However, the transformation in the BQA accreditation system from the old system to the new accreditation framework resulted in graduates from these programmes completing their studies while the transitioning is still in progress. Hence the current status,” she said.
Her sentiments were echoed by NSFAF Acting Chief Executive Officer Kennedy Kandume, who added that it was simply a matter of time before the qualifications would be accredited.
He said: “There is nothing wrong with the qualifications. It is just a matter of time and for the process to be sorted out by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) to be followed by the institution, and then the qualifications are accredited. It is not to say that the qualifications and its entities are not recognised, and therefore it’s a waste of money, but it is a matter of the process being followed for the accreditation and recognition of the qualifications to be completed,” Kandume explained.