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Boitekanelo College: driving Botswana health education


The coming into being of Boitekanelo College, the only private healthcare training institution in the country, is a remarkable story of grits and a burning ambition to see a vision come to fruition. Boitekanelo is one of the home grown concepts that have become regional and international players, in the development of human capital in the healthcare space.

Having identified that Government cannot bear the responsibility of healthcare training all by itself, one Dr Tiroyaone Mampane set out to build a training institute that is set to make Botswana a regional hub for healthcare training.

“Governments around the world, ours included, have come to realize that  healthcare training can not be left as the responsibility of Government alone,” said Ketlogetswe Montshiwa, Director-Strategy and Institutional Planning at Boitekanelo, during an interview with WeekendPost this week.

In his early thirties, the founder, president and managing director of Boitekanelo, Dr Tiroyaone Mampane, is said to have opted mostly for night duty, while he was within the public service. This was so that he could, during the day, run around with the very tedious tasks of setting up the institute. Close to eight years now, Boitekanelo College has been in operation, having moved into a multi million pula state of the art facility in Tlokweng.

As a strategy to enter the market, the College offered quality healthcare related programmes that were not offered by the mainstream public institutions, the Institutes of Health Sciences. This has since helped to place Boitekanelo among the premier health care training institutions not only in Botswana, but in the region. Dr Mampane did not aim to realize this vision alone,  he roped in those who believed in it and they assisted him to turn his dream into reality.

Ms Montshiwa told this publication that: “Governance structures were put in place from the very beginning and that, together with leadership by an entrepreneur and highly qualified staff, is the secret to the success of Boitekanelo College. We have a board of governors comprising of high caliber individuals who are leading in the various fields of finance, legal, medicine and human resources.  The academic council oversees issues of quality and standards. We have , an in house quality assurance manager and a curriculum development specialist, something that is international best practice.”

“Being a private institution  is an added advantage because we have flexibility that allows us to quickly respond to market needs unlike Government where new ideas have to be taken through lengthy decision making and budget processes.”

She added that: “Short term programmes and attracting full time studenst from abroad are the key to the future sustainability for the College; we aim to run Boitekanelo as a business and we want to avoid a situation where we are affected if the level of government sponsored students declines significantly.”

Montshiwa said that the College has various international partnerships with eminent institutions such as Duke University in the United States, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and The  Cape Peninsula University of Technology which has helped to develop the emergency care programmes for Boitenakelo as well as the Swaziland Ministry of Health, to name a few.

“We have a regional footprint and we have attracted students from as far as Nigeria, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.”

Currently operating on two Campuses; Tlokweng and Mogoditshane the College is on course to complete a school of nursing later this year, and anticipates that it will start training nurses from January 2016. This will bring the intake of student to well over 3000 from the current 2800.

Boitekanelo sets the bar high, offering a diploma in Clinical Technology, a program not widely offered even in South Africa where only 3 universities have it. A qualified Clinical Technologist would be specialized in one of seven specialization areas: Cardiology, pulmonology, critical care, nephrology, reproductive biology, perfusion, and neurophysiology. Clinical Technology graduates would be almost guaranteed employment in this very difficult economic climate. The story of Boitekanelo College is highly inspirational.

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Government sitting on 4 400 vacant posts

14th September 2020
(DPSM) Director Goitseone Naledi Mosalakatane

Government is currently sitting on 4 400 vacant posts that remain unfilled in the civil service. This is notwithstanding the high unemployment rate in Botswana which has been exacerbated by the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Just before the burst of COVID-19, official data released by Statistics Botswana in January 2020, indicate that unemployment in Botswana has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent. “Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics point out.

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FNBB projects deeper 50 basis point cut for Q4 2020

14th September 2020
Steven Bogatsu

Leading commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), expects the central bank to sharpen its monetary policy knife and cut the Bank Rate twice in the last quarter of 2020.

The bank expects a 25 basis point (bps) in the beginning of the last quarter, which is next month, and another shed by the same bps in December, making a total of 50 bps cut in the last quarter.  According to the bank’s researchers, the central bank is now holding on to 4.25 percent for the time being pending for more informed data on the economic climate.

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Food suppliers give Gov’t headache – report

14th September 2020
Food suppliers give Gov’t headache

An audit of the accounts and records for the supply of food rations to the institutions in the Northern Region for the financial year-ended 31 March 2019 was carried out. According to Auditor General’s report and observations, there are weaknesses and shortcomings that were somehow addressed to the Accounting Officer for comments.

Auditor General, Pulane Letebele indicated on the report that, across all depots in the region that there had been instances where food items were short for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months in the institutions for a variety of reasons, including absence of regular contracts and supplier failures. The success of this programme is dependent on regular and reliable availability of the supplies to achieve its objective, the report said.

There would be instances where food items were returned from the feeding centers to the depots for reasons of spoilage or any other cause. In these cases, instances had been noted where these returns were not supported by any documentation, which could lead to these items being lost without trace.

The report further stressed that large quantities of various food items valued at over P772 thousand from different depots were damaged by rodents, and written off.Included in the write off were 13 538 (340ml) cartons of milk valued at P75 745. In this connection, the Auditor General says it is important that the warehouses be maintained to a standard where they would not be infested by rodents and other pests.

Still in the Northern region, the report noted that there is an outstanding matter relating to the supply of stewed steak (283×3.1kg cans) to the Maun depot which was allegedly defective. The steak had been supplied by Botswana Meat Commission to the depot in November 2016.

In March 2017 part of the consignment was reported to the supplier as defective, and was to be replaced. Even as there was no agreement reached between the parties regarding replacement, in 51 October 2018 the items in question were disposed of by destruction. This disposal represented a loss as the whole consignment had been paid for, according to the report.

“In my view, the loss resulted directly from failure by the depot managers to deal with the matter immediately upon receipt of the consignment and detection of the defects. Audit inspections during visits to Selibe Phikwe, Maun, Shakawe, Ghanzi and Francistown depots had raised a number of observations on points of detail related to the maintenance of records, reconciliations of stocks and related matters, which I drew to the attention of the Accounting Officer for comments,” Letebele said in her report.

In the Southern region, a scrutiny of the records for the control of stocks of food items in the Southern Region had indicated intermittent shortages of the various items, principally Tsabana, Malutu, Sunflower Oil and Milk which was mainly due to absence of subsisting contracts for the supply of these items.

“The contract for the supply of Tsabana to all depots expired in September 2018 and was not replaced by a substantive contract. The supplier contracts for these stocks should be so managed that the expiry of one contract is immediately followed by the commencement of the next.”

Suppliers who had been contracted to supply foodstuffs had failed to do so and no timely action had been taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of the food items, the report noted.

In one case, the report highlighted that the supplier was to manufacture and supply 1 136 metric tonnes of Malutu for a 4-months period from March 2019 to June 2019, but had been unable to honour the obligation. The situation was relieved by inter-depot transfers, at additional cost in transportation and subsistence expenses.

In another case, the contract was for the supply of Sunflower Oil to Mabutsane, where the supplier had also failed to deliver. Examination of the Molepolole depot Food Issues Register had indicated a number of instances where food items consigned to the various feeding centres had been returned for a variety of reasons, including food item available; no storage space; and in other cases the whole consignments were returned, and reasons not stated.

This is an indication of lack of proper management and monitoring of the affairs of the depot, which could result in losses from frequent movements of the food items concerned.The maintenance of accounting records in the region, typically in Letlhakeng, Tsabong, and Mabutsane was less than satisfactory, according to Auditor General’s report.

In these depots a number of instances had been noted where receipts and issues had not been recorded over long periods, resulting in incorrect balances reflected in the accounting records. This is a serious weakness which could lead to or result in losses without trace or detection, and is a contravention of Supplies Regulations and Procedures, Letebele said.

Similarly, consignments of a total of 892 bags of Malutu and 3 bags of beans from Tsabong depot to different feeding centres had not been received in those centres, and are considered lost. These are also not reflected in the Statement of Losses in the Annual Statements of Accounts for the same periods.

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