In his statement that looks but not sound like a rebuttal, the University of Botswana Student Representative Council (UBSRC) President- Bokang Dumelang has distanced himself from ‘allegations’ by The Gazette Newspaper that he supports the motion that “the government should stop allowances” for some students.
“I cannot in anyway possible advocate for student allowances to be stopped. The day I do that you should check me into a mental asylum and throw away the keys because it would mean I have completely lost my mind and there is no turning back.” He said.
The The Gazette Newspaper in their story had reported that the government is considering to stop allowances for students whose parents can be able to support them financially, “We will also include social workers in this process to ensure that students are not disadvantaged because you and I will agree that there are wealthy parents out there who can assist their children financially, We know that there are students who desperately need the allowance more than others. To some it is not even enough to cater for their needs,” The Gazette wrote as they quoted the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology- Douglas Letsholathebe.
What the Botswana Gazette did was what I believe Media students would call sensationalism, something that every intelligent individual should always shunBokang Dumelang, UBSRC President
Though he distances himself from what he says he is being accused of, Dumelang once again in his “rebuttal” agreed with the minister that indeed “some students’ allowances should be stopped”.
“Furthermore the government has brought about a model on how that can be done as shared by Minister Letsholathebe in parliament: The “cost sharing model”. We have affluent Batswana like Letsholathebe, Dada, Jagdish and others who are beyond the word capable of assisting their families without even breaking a sweat . The government is of the view that its now time that these Batswana start being patriotic. To borrow the words of the POTUS 35 John Fitzgerald Kennedy in his inaugural speech; “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” What these affluent Batswana can do for our country is this; they allow the government to only assist them with tuition fees and not living allowances.” Dumelang asserted.
Dumelang was quoted by The Gazette Newspaper saying “We need to be patriotic as Batswana because in some countries, parents open bank accounts for their children to assist them financially during their schooling years”. Meanwhile, his counterpart, the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) SRC President- Ernest Arabang was quoted condemning minister Letsholathebe’s assertions, “Government recently increased rentals and transport fares, this has weighed down on families already. To burden parents with providing their children with living allowances is therefore a terrible move.”