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Students blast Motheo for ‘disorganised management of college’

───   OLEBOGENG MOTSE 12:36 Mon, 15 Mar 2021

Students blast Motheo for ‘disorganised management of college’ | News Article
PHOTO: Olebogeng Motse

Students from Motheo Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Bloemfontein have, like many tertiary students countrywide, taken to the streets on Monday 15 March to address the varying issues students face in their quest to get educated.

Whilst the vast majority of tertiary students are seeking to have historical debt eradicated so that they can register for the 2021 academic year, Motheo students are fighting a different battle entirely, telling OFM News during a march from the college’s main campus to the Free State Provincial Government, that final-year 2019 and 2020 students are to date still awaiting their final results. 

One of the organisers of the planned march, Phumzile Ngwenya, alleges the college has delayed in transferring their final results to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) for processing, hence the pending results. She maintains that isn’t the only way that Motheo has done a disservice to its students.

“Motheo is disorganised and incompetent. When we were still students here we would have lecturers tell us your assignments are ready, but we are still waiting for central office.” Ngwenya says sometimes exams would be delayed on the day, due to the absence of the actual exam question papers. Furthermore, students are reportedly without textbooks to study. To counter this, Motheo has availed resources via the online platform, student hub. Ngwenya cautions that this is not a viable solution, because not all students have data, or even worse - electricity, at home. “We just need Motheo to be accountable and competent because we have dreams, ambitions and goals,” concludes Ngwenya.

The situation in the city centre on Monday morning has been calm. Motheo students have applied for their march and as a result, law enforcement was at the scene to ensure proceedings to the provincial government headquarters remain peaceful and unhindered.

In 2018, the OFM News team interviewed Umalusi Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mafu Rakometsi, whilst he was in the Free State regarding the delay in the issuing of certificates to TVET college students. He said they issue certificates as per the request of the Higher Education Department and therefore their hands as Umalusi are tied in the matter.

According to Rakometsi, the department loads the data onto their system, which is supported by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). He says this data is sent to the assurer so they can issue certificates. “On our side, there is nothing we can do except wait for authentic, unadulterated data.”

Ramoketsi emphasised that unless those two entities – DHET and SITA – do their work, there cannot be any movement regarding the issuing of certificates. “For you to preserve the currency of any certificate, you must ensure it is credible, you must ensure that the data on the certificate in terms of percentages is authentic. When it is not authentic, we return the data… therein lies the problem,” explains Ramoketsi. 

The Umalusi head’s explanation revealed how complicated and interconnected the problem was. If one chain falls, the entire chain seizes to function.

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