In celebration of a great academic achievement, Botho University released over 698 Class of 2019 graduates across five faculties divided between various programmes, on the 10th July 2020. This year due to the ongoing Covid 19 global pandemic, the institution decided to utilize the power of technology to recognize graduates by hosting Botswana’s 1st ever Virtual graduation. The historic event was officiated by Botswana Government’s Honorable Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Douglas Letsholathebe as the chief guest and keynoted speaker. The event was also graced by the virtual presence of industry captains, Government officials, media, parents and graduates.
As a technology driven institution, Botho University saw it fit to adapt to change and demonstrate its innovative skills. In welcoming the attendees, Botho University Vice-Chancellor, Mrs. Sheela Raja Ram emphasized how the institution strives to continue with daily operations, using technology as its backbone. ‘Botho University is among the few universities in Africa that leveraged on the technology investments we have and well trained staff and students – so that we switched overnight seamlessly to teaching online – I am so proud of all our lecturers and nonacademic staff across four Southern African countries who embraced technology and worked twice as hard to keep learning ongoing and students engaged,’ she said.
Furthermore, she concluded by congratulating the graduates and encouraged them to continue being Tech Savvy – Change Ready and Stay Empowered. When giving his keynote address the Hon. Minister, Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe said ‘I am reliably informed that BU has a firm focus on student employability, with everything they do evolving around producing a globally employable, entrepreneurial graduate with the knowledge, skills, competencies and attitude to drive productivity growth and value creation in our economy’.
The Minister also acknowledged BUs contribution towards the COVID-19 Relief Fund, as this assisted the government in its efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. During the ceremony, BU announced outstanding performances by top students in different faculties and the two top awards were the Festus Mogae Award for Academic Excellence with a prize of BWP5,000.00 which was awarded to George Green from the Faculty of Computing. The Spirit of Botho Award carrying a prize of BWP10,000.00 was scooped by Budani Bulayani from the Faculty of Health and Education. With the quality of education the graduates acquired from the university, Botho University continues to make significant contributions to the country’s human capital development by releasing industry ready graduates.
Staying with the industry readiness topic, this great milestone was achieved through the development of a web portal by a BU student in the Faculty of Computing, Keemanao Mosedame who constructed the portal from scratch with his programming skills well supported by BU’s Marketing team with necessary images & creatives. The portal was developed in a short span of time, accessible from the university’s website where the virtual graduation video went LIVE as scheduled. The portal also had links to an online greetings site called “Kudoboard”, which received several messages of positivity amongst the student community and other well-wishers, exchanging their memories on BU life. The ceremony also captured words of encouragement and appreciation from distinguished speakers and motivational speeches by SRC presidents from Francistown and Gaborone Campuses.
This Virtual Graduation event has cemented Botho University’s market leadership in using technology to overcome the challenges brought on by this global pandemic, where BU successfully brought together the class of 2019 graduates, their families and friends, Government of Botswana and industry in one forum to celebrate their achievement virtually and thereby fully complying with the COVID-19 protocols and regulations. Members of the community and Employers can still view this event by accessing it from our Botho University website https://graduation.bothouniversity.com/