As lockdowns ease in a number of countries, the challenges to continuing administration, research, teaching and learning are still very present and the Botho University team across all campuses continue to do great work to overcome these challenges. It is with great pleasure that we would like to recognise some more of our colleagues for the great work they have been doing. These are individuals that show us how with Excellence, Leadership and Innovation, we can overcome any challenges and keep the Botho flag flying high.
Arun Gandhi: Gandhi is the Senior Manager Marketing and Communications located in Gaborone. He showed resilience, initiative and innovation in realigning the Marketing Department to concentrate on online marketing within a short time. Gandhi and his team coordinated social media campaigns across all campuses together with the Admissions Department. Designs were often needed at short notice and when our agency was unavailable, Gandhi would do the design himself and submit within timelines.
Sethunya Mogami: Mogami is a Head of Department in the Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism. She has made excellent use of WhatsApp and voice notes to share concepts with students and have question-answer sessions for interaction with students. Student voice notes responding to and asking questions helped identify real-time participation.
Dr. Douglas Svotwa: Svotwa is a Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Accounting. He is a multi-skilled individual who juggles teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate modules. He is also currently involved in developing the Master of Commerce in Digital Marketing, a critical programme at a time like this where the intensive use of digital platforms for marketing is important.
Edson Kambeu: Kambeu is an adjunct lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Accounting teaching Finance. He constantly engages his students and in one module has consistently achieved 90% attendance. He uses his own resources to follow up students, and has been breaking topics into smaller units to make accessibility easier. He makes audio files and videos for the smaller units and shares them with students through WhatsApp.
Lihotetso Matee: Matee teaches in the Faculty of Health and Education in Lesotho. She has helped students understand that online learning is their opportunity to continue learning and remain ahead of others. She uses Blackboard and WhatsApp to address all student concerns and provide feedback in time. She is administratively exemplary, updating her teaching logs well in time, responding to supervisor requests and taking assigned responsibilities seriously.
Johane Tsietsonyana: Tsietsonyana works in the Office of Financial Management in Gaborone. He is a dedicated and responsive member of the team. He provides assistance to all team members, gives direction and makes follow ups to get the best out of the team. He had severe challenges with data bundles and at his cost ensured he had connectivity to ensure work was not affected. At times, he even set his work time to be late at night to get better connectivity.
Peter Mtagulwa: Mtagulwa teaches Engineering Mathematics in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He faced poor Internet connectivity and thus had difficulty uploading necessary teaching and learning material on Blackboard for his students. He took it upon himself to apply for a permit and came to campus to upload the needed study material on Blackboard. Shortly thereafter, his students’ participation on Blackboard has been increasing steadily.
John Anand: Anand is a Fellow in the Faculty of Computing in Gaborone. He shares notes, video links, exercises and solutions through Blackboard, WhatsApp and Google Hangouts. He uses mobile compatible tests, wiki’s and discussion forums on Blackboard and quizzes and other activities on WhatsApp, thus giving students multiple opportunities to participate. To get students to practice programming, he uses virtual labs, offline and online compilers which use minimal Internet bandwidth.
Boikhutso Mogopodi: Mogopodi works in the Office of Academic Services helpdesk in Gaborone. He has been a critical member of the team who has actively attended to students’ queries through Whatsapp. He has provided exceptional service to students, ensuring timely query handling through proper coordination with other departments.
Thank you Gandhi, Mogami, Svotwa, Kambeu, Matee, Tsietsonyana, Mtagulwa, Anand, Mogopodi and everyone else who we missed in today’s mail for your great commitment during this period of school closures to support your students, team members and the institution. You are an inspiration to us all. We urge everyone to benchmark with these and other colleagues so that we can all learn from the best practices of each other. We know that many others could easily be listed on this email – keep up the great work! In the meantime, please keep your supervisors and Deans informed of the great work you are doing and look out for another mail like this in future.