Connect with us
Advertisement

IDM reflects on partnership with US Flagship University

Indiana University, one of the flagship learning institutions in the United States (US) is looking forward to enhancing its partnership with Institute of Development Management (IDM). The partnership has been in place since 2010.

Indiana University is a major multi-campus public research institution, grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, and a world leader in professional, medical, and technological education. It has consistently been ranked among top schools in the world.
IU is home to world-class business and music schools; the world’s first school of philanthropy, and US’s first school of informatics and largest medical school. It has countless other academic programs that are among the world’s best.

Indiana's Kelley School of Business is reputed to not only provide students with a rigorous academic curriculum, but it also builds leadership-development opportunities, such as student clubs and peer coaching, into each semester so students can grow their soft skills.

Kelley touts itself as the largest business-school alumni network in the world and has a 94% job-placement rate within three months of graduation. Top employers include Google, JPMorgan Chase, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Amazon, and PepsiCo.
Tim Smith, the university’s Director of International Relations and Business Development at Kelley School Business, alongside Professor Rex Stockton form Department of Counselling and Education Psychology are currently in Botswana to deliberate on the institution’s relationship with IDM.

Since the two institutions entered into partnership in 2010, both parties have enjoyed the benefits from that partnership. The partnership is premised on helping IDM to achieve its objectives by addressing the challenges facing the country, chief among them, public health and developing entrepreneurs. IU helped IDM to develop its BA in Public Health programme. The four year programme produced its first graduates in 2017.

“We are excited to further develop our relations with this visit. We will put in place a strategic plan on how we can leverage this relationship for a greater benefit. We want to contribute to Africa,” he said. “We also want to learn from them [IDM]. We want to ensure that our programmes are relevant. This can be achieved through understanding. Understanding comes through listening, and learning the context.”

Smith said businesses are changing and evolving and if they want to be relevant, the IU needs to play an active role on what is happening. “We will be thrilled to extend this partnership to the economy of the country. We want this partnership to be applied; we want this partnership to have an impact. How that will look is part of the discussion we are having now,” he said.

We started first with better understanding of the context. Now we are developing a working strategy to implement these action ideas. I think it is in action plan to start seeing those fruit. As part of the partnership, IDM staff has visited the IU campus in the US while in turn, the IU staff and students have also visited IDM campus in Botswana. The two institutions have been publishing papers together.

Professor Stockton said the relationship between the two entities have been fruitful since 2010. He has been involved in training IDM staff as well with engagements that include public entities such as NACA. IDM Country Director Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe said through the public health programme, that the institution formulated with the help of Indiana University, they are hoping that they will contribute immensely towards changing people’s lives especially looking at turning around the country’s fortunes in life expectancy, which is very low. Botswana’s life expectancy has averaged 55 over the last 10 years.

“Through our programme [Public Health], we believe we are training practitioners who change of the lives of the people by will bring these social determents of health. One of the challenges we are facing as a developing country is limitation in resources especially in the area of public health. We believe the contribution of IU is very important because it helped us to build the capacity that we need. Even now our students are already making an impact in the communities when we send them for attachment because they are already practicing what they learnt,” she said.

Dr Seitio-Kgokgwe said IDM is influential at national level. She gave an example of the institution’s contribution in developing the evaluation and monitoring programme as required in today’s world including by institutions such as World Bank. About 30 entrepreneurs, who were prize winners in last year’s Youth Business Expo have been enrolled under a special training programme, which is also part of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business contribution to the partnership.

The IDM was established in 1974 as a regional organisation in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (BLS) to help meet the management needs of the Region through management development activities including training, consultancy, research, and the establishment of a Management Resource Centre.

IDM has traditionally conducted consultancy projects in the BLS countries but, in recent years, these services have been used throughout the SADC Region. The expertise available from IDM is extensive, covering a wide range of subject areas in five core departments.

Continue Reading

News

UDC founder warns against merger

19th October 2020
Ex UDC Convener: Mpotokwane

Lebang Mpotokwane, one of the conveners who presided over the opposition cooperation talks that resulted in the formation of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), has advised against changing the current umbrella model in favour of a merger as proposed by others.

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader, Dumelang Saleshando recently went public to propose that UDC should consider merging of all opposition parties, including Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Botswana Patriotic Front (BNF).

Saleshando has been vehemently opposed by Botswana National Front (BNF), which is in favour of maintaining the current model.  BNF’s position has been favoured by the founding father of UDC, who warned that it will be too early to ditch the current model.

“UDC should be well developed to promote the spirit of togetherness on members and the members should be taught so that the merger is developed gradually. They should approach it cautiously. If they feel they are ready, they can, but it would not be a good idea,” Mpotokwane told WeekendPost this week.

Mpotokwane and Emang Maphanyane are the two men who have since 2003 began a long journey of uniting opposition parties in a bid to dethrone the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BCP) as they felt it needed a strong opposition to avoid complacency.

Tonota born Mpotokwane is however disappointed on how they have been ejected from participating in the last edition of talks ahead of the 2019 general elections in which BCP was brought on board.  However, despite the ejection, Mpotokwane is not resentful to the opposition collective.

He said the vision of opposition unity was to ultimately merge the opposition parties but he believes time has not arrived yet to pursue that path. “The bigger picture was a total merger and we agreed that with three independent parties, members might be against merger eventuality so the current model should be used until a point where they are now together for as long as possible,” he said.

“UDC should gradually perform better in elections and gain confidence. They should not rush the merger. We have been meeting since 2003, but if they rush it might cause endless problems. If they are ready they can anyway,” he advised. For now the constituent parties of the umbrella have been exchanging salvos with others (BCP and BNF).

“There are good reasons for and against merging the parties. Personally, I am in favour of merging the parties (including AP and BPF) into a single formation but I know it’s a complex mission that will have its own challenges,” Saleshando said when he made his position known a week ago.

“Good luck to those advocating for a merger, it will be interesting to observe the tactics they will use to lure the BPF into a merger,” former BNF councillor for Borakalalo Ward and former BNF Youth League Secretary General, Arafat Khan, opined in relation to BCP’s proposed position.

Mpotokwane, who is currently out in the cold from the UDC since he was ejected from the party’s NEC in 2017, said the current bickering and the expected negotiations with other parties need the presence of conveners.

“We did not belong to any party as conveners so we were objective in our submissions. If party propose any progressive idea we will support, if it is not we will not, so I would agree that even now conveners might be key for neutrality to avoid biasness,” he observed. Despite being abandoned, Mpotokwane said he will always be around to assist if at all he is needed.

“If they want help I will be there, I have always been clear about it, but surely I will ask few questions before accepting that role,” he said. UDC is expected to begin cooperation talks with both AP and BPF either this week or next weekend for both upcoming bye-elections (halted by Covid-19) and 2024 general elections and it is revealed that there will be no conveners this time around.

Continue Reading

News

BDP attaches Boko’s property

19th October 2020
DUMA BOKO

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) moved through its lawyers to attach the property of Umbrella for Democratic (UDC) President Duma Boko and other former parliamentary contestants who failed in their court bid to overturn the 2019 general elections in 14 constituencies.

WeekendPost has established that this week, Deputy Sheriffs were commissioned by Bogopa Manewe Tobedza and Company who represented the BDP, to attach the properties of UDC elections contents in a bid to recover costs.  High Court has issued a writ of execution against all petitioners, a process that has set in motion the cost recovery measures.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

COVID-19 exposes decay in the education system

19th October 2020
Education Systm

Botswana Sectors of Teachers Union (BOSETU) says COVID-19 as a pandemic has negatively affected the education sector by deeply disrupting the education system. The intermittent lockdowns have resulted in the halting of teaching and learning in schools.

The union indicated that the education system was caught napping and badly exposed when it came to the use of Information System (IT), technological platforms and issues of digitalisation.

“COVID-19 exposed glaring inefficiencies and deficiencies when it came to the use of ITC in schools. In view of the foregoing, we challenge government as BOSETU to invest in school ITC, technology and digitalization,” says BOSETU President Kinston Radikolo during a press conference on Tuesday.

As a consequence, the union is calling on government to prioritise education in her budgeting to provide technological infrastructure and equipment including provision of tablets to students and teachers.

“Government should invest vigorously in internet connectivity in schools and teacher’s residences if the concept of flexi-hours and virtual learning were to be achieved and have desired results,” Radikolo said.

Radikolo told journalists that COVID-19 is likely to negatively affect final year results saying that the students would sit for the final examinations having not covered enough ground in terms of curriculum coverage.

“This is so because there wasn’t any catch up plan that was put in place to recover the lost time by students. We warn that this year’s final examination results would dwindle,” he said.

The Union, which is an affiliate of Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Union (BOFEPUSU), also indicated that COVID-19’s presence as a pandemic has complicated the role of a teacher in a school environment, saying a teacher’s role has not only transcended beyond just facilitating teaching and learning, but rather, a teacher in this COVID-19 era, is also called upon to enforce the COVID-19 preventative protocols in the school environment.

“This is an additional role in the duty of a teacher that needs to be recognized by the employers. Teachers by virtue of working in a congested school environment have become highly exposed and vulnerable to COVID-19, hence the reason why BOSETU would like teachers to be regarded as the frontline workers with respect to COVID-19,” says Radikolo.

BOSETU noted that the pandemic has in large scales found its way into most of the school environments, as in thus far more than 50 schools have been affected by COVID-19. The Union says this is quite a worrying phenomenon.

“As we indicated before when we queried that schools were not ready for re-opening, it has now come to pass that our fears were not far-fetched. This goes out to tell that there is deficiency in our schools when it comes to putting in place preventative protocols. In our schools, hygiene is compromised by mere absence of sanitizers, few hand-washing stations, absence of social distancing in classes,” the Union leader said.

Furthermore, Radikolo stressed that the shifting system drastically increased the workload for teachers especially in secondary schools. He says teachers in these schools experience very high loads to an extent that some of them end up teaching up to sixty four periods per week, adding that this has not only fatigued teachers, but has also negatively affected their performance and the quality of teaching.

In what the Union sees as failure to uphold and honour collective agreements by government, owing to the shift system introduced at primary schools, government is still in some instances refusing to honour an agreement with the Unions to hire more teachers to take up the extra classes.

“BOSETU notes with disgruntlement the use of pre-school teachers to teach in the mainstream schools with due regard for their specific areas of training and their job descriptions. This in our view is a variation of the terms of employment of the said teachers,” says Radikolo.

The Union has called on government to forthwith remedy this situation and hire more teachers to alleviate this otherwise unhealthy situation. BOSETU also expressed concerns of some school administrators who continuously run institutions with iron fists and in a totalitarian way.

“We have a few such hot spot schools which the Union has brought to attention the Ministry officials such as Maoka JSS, Artesia JSS, and Dukwi JSS. We are worried that the Ministry becomes sluggish in taking action against such errant school administration. In instances where action is taken, such school administrators are transferred and rotated around schools.”

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!