By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
The new 2016 to 2020 Botswana College of Distance and open Learning Strategic Plan is a testament of the institution’s move towards an embedded e-learning regime. Briefing Stakeholders and journalists during the launch, Miriam Banana Maroba, Deputy Executive Director – Support Services said there was an increased utilisation of technological services at the college from 2012.
“The use of available technology at the institution increased from 30% in 2012 to 96% in 2016, the number of technology mediated products and services increased from 13 to 30 during the same period,” she explained. This sixth Strategic Plan dubbed Strategy 2020 is being launched under the theme “Embracing Transformation.”
Maroba said leveraging on technology has become the buzzword at BOCODOL to an extent that almost every facet of activity there is linked to some ICT usage.
“At BOCODOL we have fast-tracked on leveraging technology, implementation of ICT strategies, and we have increased connectivity and take WIFI deployment to a new level. We are also tasked with improving on the existing online services – such as ITS, Moodle LMS, D-space IR, Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECMS), as well as automated business processes which take into account Human Resources, in the form of leave applications and others by our staff. We intend to create a working student call centre, as well as come up with an interactive website to be used by all students and stakeholders alike.”
BOCODOL, which is looking to becoming a fully-fledged University once all the necessary legislative processes are finalised, promised to implant technology going forward. “As we launch Strategy 2020, BOCODOL is making way for the Botswana Open University. Our wish is to launch BOU as a national flagship broadband educational project to challenge established pedagogical practice and transform educational practice, by among other things, harnessing technology,” Maroba told Biztechafrica in an interview.
Speaking at the same launch, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development Dr. Theophilus Mooko echoed the Maroba’s presentation. “I am happy to note that BOCODOL continues to make strides in transforming the way it operates. As we speak today, all BOCODOL’s tertiary would-be students are now able to apply for admission, register for their respective programmes and pay fees thereof from any part of Botswana and the world, for as long as they have access to internet.” He added that he supports all efforts by relevant stakeholders to realise this noble vision.