Setswana culture celebrated at Bokgeleke
The annual Bokgeleke Arts and Culture Festival brought a fusion of contemporary and traditional cultural activities to Botho University’s Gaborone campus on the 28th October 2017.
Drawing both international and local attendants, the festival, an annual celebration of Setswana culture, reflects and cements Botho University’s status as a global university hosting students and staff from all over the world. In its years of existence, Bokgeleke has captivated many through its showcase and exchange of contemporary and traditional cultural activities.
This year, attendants were treated to traditional games and fun activities for children, as well as a fashion show by exhibitors from the industry. Poetry and musical acts included the popular Dr. VOM, the renowned Mafitlhakgosi Traditional Dance Group, Maté aka Tebogo Matebesi, Voice of Angels, Sweet Harmonica and many more. Revelers dressed in their best traditional attires were not only treated to a variety of Tswana dishes, but also got to sample traditional ginger beer.
Bokgeleke Arts & Culture Festival 2017 is brought to you by Botho University. #20 Years Setting the Gear for Excellence.
Botho university stepping up to help libraries
As part of the university’s celebration of its 20 years of existence, Botho University has committed to library capacity building in 20 schools around Botswana. Twenty specially selected schools, primary and secondary, will receive books and have their library spaces enhanced as part of the university’s celebration activities. Under the theme Setting the gear for excellence Botho University is engaging in activities that reach out to stakeholders and communities in Botswana.
The ongoing library capacity building initiative involves donating books and other learning materials, enhancing the physical library space, and imparting basic managerial and operational skills to library personnel. This initiative is Botho University’s contribution towards improved primary school examination results and cultivating a reading culture among pupils from a young age.
Activities started in August 2017 with Francistown Campus at Busang Primary School in Tsetsebjwe in the Bobirwa region. In September, Satellite Primary School in Francistown and Borolong Primary schools in Central region were the next to benefit.
Gaborone Campus visited West Hanahai Primary School in Ghanzi region, Phuduhudu Primary School in Hukuntsi region, Nhake Primary School in Tsabong region and Gakgatla Primary School in Thamaga region.
Events at different schools were attended by Ministry of Basic Education representatives from respective regions, Dikgosi, Parents Teachers Association Chairpersons, Village Development Committee Chairpersons and other authorities from different government ministries. Attendance by various stakeholders was proof that education is not left to teachers alone.
In her message to the schools, the activity lead coordinator and Librarian Ms Kate Nkoko said, “Botho University has a mandate to contribute to community social change by any means that is relevant. The University focus is to educate and help shape the character of a learner into an all rounded knowledgeable professional, whom the community defines as having Botho.”
“It goes beyond just us,”Nkoko added. “As we donate these books, we commit those collecting them to distribute to eager young minds. However, we must be mindful that while we instill a culture of reading, we need to make books and reading exciting and appealing as the books compete with other alluring activities that could easily distract their attention.
The enhanced spaces which are now painted, featuring new carpets and furniture, with books arranged accordingly on shelves with clear labelling, give a fresh and warm welcome to the school community.
Education authorities and students greatly appreciated the donated revision texts as they come just in time for examination preparations. These books are a highly recommended resource many cannot afford to own. All schools that received the donations hope for improved results in the year to come.
Botho empowers teachers so they can empower students
As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations and community engagement activities, Botho University held a Career Guidance Workshop for Senior Teachers of Senior Secondary Schools on Friday 3rd November 2017, co-sponsored with the American Embassy.
The purpose of this workshop, held at the Gaborone campus, was to provide over 65 teachers with the tools, information, and resources they need to identify their student career goals, in recognition of the vital role teachers play in the lives of our future leaders. The workshop gave Career Guidance teachers insight into local, regional and global labour market trends and how these align with Higher Education.
The workshop provided teachers with clear, actionable information about how to guide students to their right career path. The teachers explored the use of psychometric testing or interest inventory testing and were trained on regional and global labour market trends, approaches to career guidance, personal development and career interest inventory case study analysis. Botho University found the need to continuously enhance career guidance programmes in schools by drawing from regional and international practices.
Energetic specialized facilitators included Deputy Permanent Secretary of Basic Education Mr Simon Coles; Dr Patrick Moluti, Partner Joint Minds Consult; Lauren Claassen and Professor Burke Alban from the Career Services Unit, University of Johannesburg; Kristina Salenstedt Linder of Gymnasium School, through a con-call from Sweden; Priyanka Handa Ram,a teacher and Director at Raising Education Within Africa (R.E.W.A.); and US English Fellow Marie Snider. Through the presentations, such as Priyanka Handa Ram’s interactive take on personal development for teenagers, the teachers were able to understand the most important aspects of their role as career guidance and counselling teachers.
Botho University created a unique experience for teachers, while the facilitators provided them with tried and tested strategies they can use to engage students and take them through the right process for choosing their career path.
It is hoped that follow up interactions between teachers and Botho University will continue to establish the impact of the workshop. One of the participants Mr. Oarabile James Koboekae gave a vote of thanks on behalf of all teachers.
Botho University Maseru hosts Hobby Expo
Botho University Maseru hosted its inaugural Hobby Expo at the Maseru Mall Campus on the 23rd September 2017. The 2017 Expo was a unique showcase of an extensive 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 and students 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 by giving them an opportunity to engage in new hobbies, in celebration of the 20th anniversary. The event gave the participants a chance to interact with creative and talented industry professionals.
Botho University is committed to ensuring that staff and students remain engaged in the celebrations and festivities planned for this year. The University’s 20th anniversary celebrations committee believes that participants can use the skills obtained during the Hobby Expo to better their lives and engage in new hobbies during their free time. The eight hobbies selected for the event were experiential and adventurous. The raw painting facilitated by Ms Mabafokeng Kolobe; Animation and Camera Technology by Patrick Rorke, Crochet facilitated by Ms Monica Premakar;Violin by Lizbe du Toit; Drums and Bass Guitar by Mr Thabo Mlangeni; Makeup facilitated by M Maneo Matseletsele of House of Elegance Beauty Schools: Ballroom Dance by Reatile Mohapeloa and Cycling by Mr Teboho Lenyora of Future Stars BMX Track.
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.
“I wanted participants to see any garbage not as just as rubbish but as something they can turn into money or something valuable, as most of the products designed during the lesson were to encourage recycling and creativity by the students,” commented Ms Kolobe, who facilitated painting and used recycled material.
Botho University created a space for everyone with a passion for learning, pursuing and engaging in artistic pastimes of any kind, be it dancing, photography or painting, to come together, explore and experience it all in one place.
Botho University at Lady Khama Cup
The spirit of charity embodied by the late Lady Ruth Khama continues to live on through the Lady Khama Charitable Trust, which holds the annual Lady Khama Cup. Botho University joined His Excellency the President of Botswana Seretse Khama Ian Khama and the Board of Trustees of the Lady Khama Charitable Trust at the charitable golf day, held this year at the Gaborone Golf Club on Friday 20thOctober 2017. Local companies also attended, to support this annual event, at which funds raised go towards charities to help the disadvantaged.
The Lady Khama Charitable Trust was founded in 2002, in honour of Lady Ruth Khama, and with the aim of supporting charitable organisations that focus on helping the less fortunate and Botswana women and children. In establishing the Trust, her eldest son and current Patron of the Trust, His Excellency the President, sought to continue the community development work that Lady K spent so much of her time pursuing. The Trust’s focus on vulnerable women and children mirrors that of Lady K, highlighted by her involvement with the Botswana Red Cross, Botswana Council for Women and SOS Children’s Villages. Through its work, the Trust hopes to help everyone it assists to live in dignity.
TEACHING EXCELLENCE DEPARTMENT TRAINING
The Teaching Excellence Department held the following trainings to facilitate its mandate of improving the quality of teaching and learning:
1. Teaching Excellence Talk: On the 21st of September 2017, Professor Lekoko, an author, researcher and lecturer of Education at the University of Botswana presented a Teaching Excellence talk under the topic, “Just one Step toward Winning Teacher-Learner Connections: An Intergenerational Mind-set.” In her address, Dr. Lekoko emphasised the need for teachers to understand the mind-set of the current generation of learners in order to better help them in their learning. She further highlighted that success in the classroom today hinges on the ability of teachers to fully appreciate the intergenerational mind-set of learners, and its implication on classroom dynamics. This brought high levels of insight and was greatly appreciated by all the attendees.
2. Coffee with TED: On the 10th of November 2017, the Teaching Excellence Department hosted the teaching staff of Botho University in a breakfast session whose main objective was to engage in dialogue on issues that affect the quality of teaching in the university as a whole. The breakfast session was meant to provide an informal space, at which productive discussions could be held collectively. The initiative was appreciated by all in attendance, with contributions made into how the teaching quality gaps in the institution can be dealt with.
3. Student Motivational Session: The Teaching Excellence Department treated the student body to a session of fun and learning, on the 19th of October, when it hosted Goaba Mojakgomo, a talented and celebrated former radio personality. Mr Mojakgomo addressed students under the theme, “Harnessing 21st Century Skills for Employability.” The event included a health and fitness session which was coordinated by professional trainers. Various students in attendance appreciated the advice and counsel the radio personality gave them, this made the event a success.
4. Inaugural Teaching Excellence Talk—Maseru Campus: The Teaching Excellence Department conducted the first teaching excellence talk in Maseru. The talk was delivered by Professor Burk Alban (University of Johannesburg) and Dr. Matete Madiba (University of Pretoria). The two presenters spoke on student engagement techniques as well as on systems approach to assuring quality of learning and teaching. The ground-breaking event was attended by all Botho University-Maseru staff and staff from seven other tertiary institutions in Lesotho.
The Teaching Excellence Department aims to continue in providing the support needed to improve the quality of learning and teaching in Botho University in various innovative ways.
BOTHO UNIVERSITY CELEBRATES STAFF EXCELLENCE
Botho University recently celebrated its staff at the annual Botho University Staff Excellence Awards and Christmas party, held at each of the university’s three campuses. Botho University staff did not disappoint in honoring the Denim and White theme and came fashionably dressed for the occasion.
Staff members were awarded under the categories Research Excellence, Service Excellence, Teaching Excellence and the Appreciation Award for Sports Coaches.
The Research Excellence Awards is given to Botho University staff undertaking research, who have had successful funding proposals and on the basis of their research output points. All staff members with four research points are nominated. Each campus awards the Research Excellence Award to the researcher with the top most points.
The Service Excellence Awards are awarded to staff members in all support roles, who have come together as a team to make Botho a first choice university that students and staff want to associate with. The Teaching Excellence Award is about the promotion of excellent teaching and learning as a core function of Botho University.
The Appreciation Award for Sport Coaches rewards staff who contribute to our position, as Botho University, in priding ourselves as being one of the best in sporting events in the country.
Staff had the opportunity to nominate and vote for the highest performing members before the awards ceremony. The three Botho University campuses celebrated the award winners in style at their respective campuses.
Botho University Management would like to congratulate all the award winners and wish the rest of the staff all the best in the next Staff Excellence Awards, and wish them a Happy Christmas holiday and blessed 2018.
BOTHO UNIVERSITY CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
To tell its story of the past and where it is going in the future, Botho University recently invited industry friends and associates, including high level guests from government, private sector and parastatals, to celebrate its 20 years anniversary, in all three of its campuses. The main 20th anniversary celebrations were held in Gaborone, Maseru and Francistown on the 30th October, 20th November and 24th November respectively.
The Rt Honourable Prime Minister of Lesotho Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane officiated at the Maseru celebrations. The Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Honourable Fidelis Molao graced the Francistown campus celebrations, while Mr. Oupa Masesane, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Basic Education was guest speaker for the Gaborone celebration.
Over the years, Botho University has contributed to the development of the region they operate in and has produced quality and talented graduates in various critical disciplines essential for regional growth. At these events, guests were taken through presentations of the past 20 years in BU and the future as espoused in the Sustainable Growth Strategy 2018-2022.
“Our Sustainable Growth Strategy 2018-2022 fully recognises the challenges and constraints in the African economies we operate in and hence relies on efficiency and effectiveness and the key principles of intergrity and inclusiveness in everything we do. Our student centric approach and a relentless focus on quality has led us to become who we are—A University of Choice,” Sheela Raj Ram, Botho University Vice Chancellor.
Botho University hosts Climate Hackathon 2017/18
Botho University, Gaborone campus, hosted the Climate Hackathon 2017/2018 where young people in Botswana could pitch their social entrepreneurial ideas addressing climate challenges in the health, water, agriculture and energy sectors.
Pearl Ranna scooped the first position after an impressive pitch. Her business uses a solar powered climate-sensitive vertical aquaponics system to produce vegetables. She also trains rural women to use the system. The other two women who won the first installment of the Botswana Climate Hackathon were Maureen Montsho, who came in second and Bonolo Mosime, who came in third position.
Botho University representative Shiv Pal who welcomed the guests to the institution emphasised the need to address climate change. "Climate change is real. It will take practical actions such as the ones we will witness here today to manage the situation," Pal said.
The EU Ambassador to Botswana Alexander Baum gave the opening remarks and applauded the Climate Hackathon.
“This is such a great initiative, one that can bring real change. There is no argument that a low carbon economy can bring economic benefits to a country, as it provides an opportunity for new sectors. Green jobs are changing the landscape of job creation in other parts of the world and this can be a reality in Botswana. Congratulations in coming up with this initiative,” Baum said.
The young entrepreneurs are looking for investors to kick start their business ideas.
BU LITTER PICKING CAMPAIGN
Office of Staff and Students Outreach (OSSO) embarked on a clean-up campaign targeting the Botho University Gaborone campus surrounding areas. Honourable Councillor Charles Pereko of Kgale View joined in and assisted in the exercise.
The clean-up was carried out to encourage BU staff and students to care for their community and local environment by collecting litter from their streets, and was intended to supplement the usual cleaning up by the Gaborone City Council.
The campaign, held on the 15th December 2017, saw Botho University students and staff litter picking around Block 9, Kgale View and Gaborone West. The campaign also aimed to give these areas a facelift.