Library capacity building
Under the theme Setting the gear for excellence, Botho University is celebrating 20 years of existence by engaging in various activities that reach out to stakeholders and communities in Botswana and Lesotho.
One of these activities is library capacity building in 20 schools, including primary and secondary. This involves donating books and other learning materials, enhancing the physical library space, and imparting basic managerial and operational skills to Library personnel. The capacity building is Botho University’s contribution towards improved Standard 7 results and cultivating a culture of reading among pupils from a young age.
The Gaborone campus started the initiative in the final week of August 2017, visiting West Hanahai in Ghanzi region on the 22nd; Phuduhudu in Hukuntsi-Kang region on the 23rd and Nhake in Tsabong region on the 24th.
Ministry of Basic Education (MOBE) representatives from the 3 regions were present at all the schools to witness the event. Dikgosi (village headmen) graced the event in West Hanahai and Phuduhudu. Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) chairpersons and their deputies, Village Development Committee (VDC) chairpersons and assistants, and parents also attended.
In her message to the schools, Ms Kate Nkoko said, “Botho University has a mandate to contribute to community social change by any means that is relevant. The foundation and focus of the University is to educate and help shape characteristics of a learner into an all round knowledgeable professional, whom the community defines as having Botho.”
Donations of storybooks, curriculum revision textbooks, books covering other subjects, and educational materials such as chess, monopoly, puzzle games and charts were received with gratitude.
MOBE regional officers appreciated the donations, especially the revision texts, saying they came at the right time as September is when revision for Standard 7 exams begins.
Gakgatla primary school library donations
Gakgatla Primary School’s 4x4m storeroom, once piled with unused books and furniture, transformed into a vibrant, colourful library on the 13th September 2017.
A team of five staff members and five Library Ambassadors worked together to create a place for teachers and learners to use in addition to the classroom. This was a continuation of the ongoing library activities to commemorate Botho University’s 20th anniversary. The activities aim at enhancing library spaces and contributing to curricula.
The team sorted the available books, separating, labelling and arranging them according to subject areas. New carpets were laid down over the untiled floor and four ottomans were placed in selected positions around the room.
In the afternoon, a donation ceremony was held to officially open the revamped library and hand over learning materials. In attendance were two police officers, the nurse and, representing village authorities, VDC chairperson Kgosi Rabby Moshapa. Staff and pupils under the leadership of School Head and PTA Chairperson, Mr. Barwabatsile, were also among the attendees. The community was amazed by how the library had changed into a warm welcoming environment in such a short time. Kgosi Moshapa remarked that Botho University is bringing essential developments to Gakgatla village, citing the June 2017 service day.
When handing over two sets of revision textbooks and educational games to Mr. Barwabatsile, activity leader Ms. Kate Nkoko requested that they be used well by both teachers and pupils to improve performance. She told those who came to witness Botho University’s efforts that it is time for Africa to discredit the saying “If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book”. Parents and teachers should encourage children to read storybooks to develop love for reading. Everyone must have a place and something to read, she said.
Hidden Treasures-The ECI Trip
Botswana boasts a handful of heritage sites around the city of Gaborone. Although these sites are not very popular amongst Batswana, Botho University’s ECI students explored several of them, including Mogonye Gorge, the Manyana rock paintings and Livingstone Kolobeng, which boast eye-catching flora and fauna together with natural springs and gorges.
Mmamotshwane Gorge is the biggest and most popular gorge in Mogonye village, five minutes away from Gaborone. The gorge consists of a variety of animals such as leopard, black mamba, cobra, kudu, baboon, antelope, etc. There is also a special kind of tree called mmabi. The gorge is believed to be a sacred home controlled by the ancestors and contains spring wells which have now run dry. Residents believe that the wells are dry because the ancestors are displeased.
After Mogonye, the students took a drive to Manyana village, where they saw rock paintings dating back 2000 years. The paintings were done by the Khoisan who inhabited the area at that time. The cave at the site served as a hiding place for Kgosi Sechele’s pregnant wife during the battle of Dimawe. A few kilometers from the rock paintings, still in Manyana village, is David Livingstone’s tree, where Batswana were taught how to read and given medical consultations.
The final site was in Kumakwane village, where Livingstone settled. There are remains of the foundation of the building which served as his home, church and clinic. This building was the first four-corner house in Botswana. The site also boasts the graves of Livingstone’s daughter Elizabeth and the two missionaries who helped him spread the message of Christianity. There is also a natural spring, the water of which is believed to be holy.
The trip was a highly educative lesson in tourism and the ECI students got real life experience of the job of an interpreter, which they had learned in class. The professional guides, including the one who drove with them from Gaborone and the local guides at the sites, did an excellent job in showing the students how it is done.
Botho university maseru Linkz 2017 a success
Botho University Maseru Campus held the inaugural Linkz Competition on Friday 15th September 2017, in Maseru Mall.
The LINKZ ICT challenge has been held in Botho University Botswana campus since 2009. The competition which brings together schools from all over the country started off as an ICT competition but this year’s event included more categories.
The Maseru event brought together High Schools and Tertiary Institutions from the Maseru District to compete in various events. LINKZ’s main aim is to foster learning excellence through healthy competition by putting the best of the Lesotho student community in the field of IT, and this year has included Health, Sciences, Accounting and Business fields from across the country to compete against each other. Over the years, LINKZ has grown to be one of the most anticipated events amongst the Youth and has seen hundreds of participants annually. The event was the first of its kind in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho organized by Botho University Maseru campus.
Enthusiastic students from high schools and tertiary institutions in Lesotho were given an opportunity to showcase their talent at the Botho University LINKZ Challenge 2017 and proved their talent in various events ranging from PC Assembly to Debate, Impromptu Speech to Poetry with all event themes revolving round ICT and in line with the University’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
The number of institutions that participated was very satisfactory for a first time event, however, the institutions that managed to take part in the competition gave a good show, trying their mettle in this ICT challenge. In the end it was the hosts Botho University that emerged the overall winners of the day,with very stiff competition from Limkokwing University whilst the capital city based Machabeng College topped the high schools category.
Amongst categories that saw boys and girls showcase their ICT acquaintance to the best of their knowledge was PC assembly (for both tertiary and High schools), database design, IT innovation for Health, paper presentation, debugging, Poetry, debate, Impromptu Speech, Product Pitching, Taxation Wizard as well as and Science quiz for high schools.
Plans are also under way for next year’s LINKZ ICT challenge to solicit participation from tertiary institutions and high schools in all districts of the country. LINKZ 2017 broadened the scope of the competition making it much more than just an IT event as it included Business, Accounting, Health and other fields. The competition was held at Maseru Mall where the Campus is located.
The event was also graced by the present of the Director (ICT) from the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, Mr LebusaLetlotlo.
Botho university would like to thank Maseru Mall Management ,the event co-sponsor, Econet Telecom Lesotho, and its Management who provided free Wi-Fi for the day and some cash support which saw the event a long way.
The Director of ICT in the Ministry of Communications, Science & Technology, MrLebusaLetlotlo, officially opening Linkz 2017 ICT Challenge.
Winners and awards for participation
The Assistant Dean (Maseru Campus), Mr. Abhishek Ranjan, presenting the trophy to the overall winners in the Secondary Schools category – Machabeng College
Overall winners in the Tertiary institutions category (Botho University) celebrating their trophy.
Botho University adopts francistown schools
Botho University continues to demonstrate its social responsibility in various communities across Botswana. Recently the institution adopted Borolong Primary School and Satellite Primary School as two of the 20 primary schools to be supported towards improved literacy among pupils. Botho University recently renovated the Satellite Primary library and donated computers and stationery.
This exercise is part of the University’s ‘donate a school initiative’ after its public announcement to adopt 20 primary schools across Botswana. The noble gesture was a means to award the highest performing pupils, as Satellite Primary School was celebrating 50 years of existence. The activities of the day included re-painting the school library, replacing curtain rails, and donating computers, printers, chairs and stationery. Botho University staff members and students attended the event.
Upon receiving the donations, Borolong Primary School head Mrs Catherine Tshokolo thanked Botho University and promised that the donations will solely be used to aid pupils’ learning. On his part, Village Development Council chairperson Mr Madzonga heaped praise on Botho University for having adopted Borolong Primary School and said it was indeed a blessing in disguise, as they had felt neglected over the past 15 years.
In his closing remarks, Rapulana ward headman Mr Zechariah Molema advised the teachers to ensure that the donations and refurbished facilities are taken care of in order to benefit the students in the long run.
Botho university MBA launched
With the recent launch of its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, Botho University continues to make its mark in the education sector.
The online MBA will be offered through blended and distance learning at Botho University. It will facilitate the Professional and Corporate development of business leaders and aspiring business managers and entrepreneurs as reflective of corporate practitioners in the business field. The MBA will enable graduates to develop knowledge, skills and competencies to manage business organizations at national, regional and international level.
The Blended Learning programme, with combined Distance Learning and Block Release, will take a minimum of 2 years to complete. It will be driven on a platform of case studies and scenarios, making use of industry experts and leaders as well as advanced scholars with a wealth of experience in the SADC region.
Using a basis of personal and professional experience, the MBA will enable prospective candidates to start businesses. It is meant to target business leaders, entrepreneurs and technopreneurs, and to empower the human capital base of emerging economies like Botswana.Students will learn through the use of Blackboard Collaborate, which compares very well with business schools in SADC.
The launch actively engaged guests, leaving all who attended with a strong grasp of the basic concepts of Botho University’s latest offering. The MBA, aimed at producing business managers, researchers, policy makers, and branding specialists, to name a few, will be administered by experienced and PhD qualified instructors, as well as guest lecturers with industry experience.
The first intake of the programme, benchmarked against the best in Southern Africa, will be in January 2018. Applications are now open.
Botho university linkz 2017 nurtures young talent
The 2017 LINKZ Challenge came to a successful end at Botho University’s Gaborone Campus on Friday 15th September 2017. The annual contest attracts competitors among the top students in the field of Information Technology (IT) from universities and secondary schools across Botswana, with the main aim of fostering leaning through healthy competition.
This year, the University of Botswana scooped top prize in the tertiary institutions category, trailed by Botho University Francistown and Limkokwing University in second and third place respectively. In the secondary schools category, Legae Academy claimed first prize, followed by Rainbow Secondary School and Kagiso Senior School in second and third place.
A Botho University initiative established in 2009, the LINKZ Challenge brings together senior secondary schools and tertiary institutions to compete and showcase their talents in categories ranging from database design, IT innovation for health, paper presentation, debugging, poetry and debate to impromptu speech, product pitching, Taxation Wizard and a science quiz. This year the platform expanded to include Health, Sciences, Accounting and Engineering fields.
Over the years, LINKZ has grown into one of the most anticipated youth events in Botswana, boasting hundreds of participants annually. This year’s event included twenty (20) activities to celebrate Botho University’s 20th anniversary. For the first time, the LINKZ Challenge went beyond Botswana borders and was also held in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
This year, competitors came from tertiary institutions including Botho University Gaborone, Botho University Francistown, Limkokwing University, BIUST, and the University of Botswana. The secondary schools that took part included Legae Academy, Kagiso Senior Secondary School and Rainbow Secondary School. The winners of the competition received certificates, trophies, and prizes at an award ceremony held the same day.
Legae Academy scoops Best Overall High School at the recently ended Linkz Challenge
University Of Botswana declared the Winners of Linkz 2017
Francistown hobby expo 2017 sizzles
The first Botho University Hobby Expo held in Francistown, last week, was a unique showcase of a wide range of creative activities that allowed participants to experiment with new artistic ideas and crafts.
The Expo was a great platform for Botho University staff, students and alumni to learn something new and for the University to contribute meaningfully to the community through hobby sharing. The prime vision of the event was to transform the Botho University community through learning new skills in celebration of the university’s 20th anniversary. The event gave the participants a chance to interact with creative and talented industry professionals, learning skills ranging from marimba and makeup lessons to jewelry making.
Participants kick-started their day with Zumba and yoga, which attracted fitness fanatics, and were later dispatched to various activities. The industry experts offering lessons for the enthusiasts included Lesedi Nganunu, who shared piano skills; Simon Kalommo from John Mckenzie School, who offered Marimba; Tshepo Nkwe, who provided make up lessons; Nandi Padmanaban from Art of Living, who taught yoga; Amanda Lebang, who gave participants a taste of jewelry design and Tshepo Kefhitilwe from Phat T Sounds, who shared DJ Skills. Botho University would like to thank the facilitators for their skills sharing.
The University provided materials to enable each participant to learn the different crafts. The event was also held in Botho University’s Gaborone and Maseru campuses.
Botho university hobby expo proves to be a crowd-puller
The first Botho University Hobby Expo, a unique showcase of a range of creative activities, proved to be a great platform for the university to contribute meaningfully to the community through hobby sharing. Held at the Gaborone campus, the main objective of the 2017 Hobby Expo was to transform the Botho University community through learning new skills in celebration of the university’s 20th anniversary.
The Expo gave the participants a chance to interact with creative and talented industry professionals, learning skills ranging from Baking, Makeup Lessons, Horse Riding, Bird Watching, Traditional Dancing, Photography, Guitar Lessons, Marimba Lessons, Piano Lessons, Painting, Crochet, Shamballa Bracelet Making, Pottery Making, Zumba and Debating.
The day began on a good note with a Zumba warm up to get the adrenaline flowing before participants were dispatched to their respective activities. Enthusiastic staff, alumni and students attended the Expo in large numbers and explored different categories of leisure activities.
The Expo was the first of its kind hosted by Botho University. Participants chose an activity that they had never done before, which made the event more engaging. Through proper skills sharing and guidance, they managed to learn new hobbies and experience a zeal for life which will create a healthy and constructive atmosphere for the future.
The University provided materials to enable each participant to take home the tools to continue learning the different crafts. The Art class, for example, had basic tools such as brushes, paints and drawing boards to help the participants create masterpieces. The new Botho University Multimedia studio was the perfect venue to host Guitar and Piano lessons conducted by industry-experienced musicians. Outdoor activities such as horse riding attracted keen new enthusiasts.
Botho University created a space for everyone with a passion for learning, pursuing and engaging in artistic pastimes of any kind, be it dancing, aerobics, collectibles, photography or food blogging, to come together, explore and experience it all in one place.
Botho university adopts Kubung primary school
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Botho University (BU) adopted Kubung Primary School on the 26th October 2017, in an effort to help improve the school’s academic results.
The BU Office of External Relations formed a partnership with the Ministry of Basic Education to assist the school, as guided by the Ministry adopt a School initiative. Kubung Primary School invited Botho University to a prize giving ceremony last year, during which BU identified the need for provision and monitoring of Standard 5 to 7 remedial lessons to help boost academic results.
Botho University engaged its own students to embark on a much-needed facelift for the primary school, including the design of a new logo unveiled at the prize giving ceremony, where the Kubung community applauded the University for their generous contribution.
Botho University will also support Kubung Primary school library through the provision of learning resources and the enhancement of learning spaces. One of the main activities will include re-aligning the revision content into an outcome-based syllabus for ease of students’ engagement, as well as the provision of computers and internet to enhance the learning environment.
The event was graced by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Basic Education Grace Muzila, who applauded the University for the wonderful initiative and encouraged the Kubung community to join hands with Botho University to ensure the improvement of students’ grades.