Category Archives: Adventures in Bureaucracy

Strike at University of Botswana

Since last Thursday a strike has been brewing among undergraduate students at the University of Botswana.  The students are upset about the following issues (there may be more but this is what I am aware of):

  • Students who failed courses last year are not getting their government allowances for retaking those courses
  • Students are being forced to live on campus even though some of them want to live off campus
  • No students have received their monthly allowance for February yet (this is what really set off the strike on Monday)

So the past few days a group of 500-1000 students have been holding rallies and marching around campus with sticks forcing others out of class, closing down the cafeteria and the library.  Many students tried to go to class, but we were chased and told to go back to our rooms or join the strike.  I tried to take pictures of the strikers one time.  Big mistake.  They chased me but luckily I was on my bike, and I don’t think they meant any harm, they just wanted to cheer when I left. 

So today, I was at the Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence (they specialize in pediatric HIV/AIDS) volunteering and someone told me the university is being closed by the government.  I rushed back to the graduate dorms to find a few ground level windows busted out and riot police. 

So no class for the indefinite future.  Here are some pictures I could sneak from the window.

broken windows at the University of Botswana graduate dorms

broken windows at the University of Botswana graduate dorms

 

riot police on campus

riot police on campus

students evacuating campus

students evacuating campus

Registration in Botswana

School registration began on Monday.  Unlike the normal 15 minutes required for online registration I have always used in the U.S. in Botswana we do it old school.  This means standing in line, meeting professors, and begging leaneancy.  Being a first year graduate student my classes were preset, so I didn’t have to make my own schedule.  This saved a couple of days, because there were only a handful of master schedules for the entire school and most people just went from department to department asking the schedule.  I didn’t notice many people being vocally upset at the long process, only a couple of people I met expressed frustration.  This does not mean that a lot of people don’t like the system, but are simply familiar with it and the processes. 

One of the many lines for registration

One of the many lines for registration

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