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Boitekanelo College: driving Botswana health education

Publishing Date : 23 March, 2015



The coming into being of Boitekanelo College, the only private healthcare training institution in the country, is a remarkable story of grits and a burning ambition to see a vision come to fruition. Boitekanelo is one of the home grown concepts that have become regional and international players, in the development of human capital in the healthcare space.

Having identified that Government cannot bear the responsibility of healthcare training all by itself, one Dr Tiroyaone Mampane set out to build a training institute that is set to make Botswana a regional hub for healthcare training.

“Governments around the world, ours included, have come to realize that  healthcare training can not be left as the responsibility of Government alone,” said Ketlogetswe Montshiwa, Director-Strategy and Institutional Planning at Boitekanelo, during an interview with WeekendPost this week.

In his early thirties, the founder, president and managing director of Boitekanelo, Dr Tiroyaone Mampane, is said to have opted mostly for night duty, while he was within the public service. This was so that he could, during the day, run around with the very tedious tasks of setting up the institute. Close to eight years now, Boitekanelo College has been in operation, having moved into a multi million pula state of the art facility in Tlokweng.

As a strategy to enter the market, the College offered quality healthcare related programmes that were not offered by the mainstream public institutions, the Institutes of Health Sciences. This has since helped to place Boitekanelo among the premier health care training institutions not only in Botswana, but in the region. Dr Mampane did not aim to realize this vision alone,  he roped in those who believed in it and they assisted him to turn his dream into reality.

Ms Montshiwa told this publication that: “Governance structures were put in place from the very beginning and that, together with leadership by an entrepreneur and highly qualified staff, is the secret to the success of Boitekanelo College. We have a board of governors comprising of high caliber individuals who are leading in the various fields of finance, legal, medicine and human resources.  The academic council oversees issues of quality and standards. We have , an in house quality assurance manager and a curriculum development specialist, something that is international best practice.”

“Being a private institution  is an added advantage because we have flexibility that allows us to quickly respond to market needs unlike Government where new ideas have to be taken through lengthy decision making and budget processes.”

She added that: “Short term programmes and attracting full time studenst from abroad are the key to the future sustainability for the College; we aim to run Boitekanelo as a business and we want to avoid a situation where we are affected if the level of government sponsored students declines significantly.”

Montshiwa said that the College has various international partnerships with eminent institutions such as Duke University in the United States, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and The  Cape Peninsula University of Technology which has helped to develop the emergency care programmes for Boitenakelo as well as the Swaziland Ministry of Health, to name a few.

“We have a regional footprint and we have attracted students from as far as Nigeria, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.”

Currently operating on two Campuses; Tlokweng and Mogoditshane the College is on course to complete a school of nursing later this year, and anticipates that it will start training nurses from January 2016. This will bring the intake of student to well over 3000 from the current 2800.

Boitekanelo sets the bar high, offering a diploma in Clinical Technology, a program not widely offered even in South Africa where only 3 universities have it. A qualified Clinical Technologist would be specialized in one of seven specialization areas: Cardiology, pulmonology, critical care, nephrology, reproductive biology, perfusion, and neurophysiology. Clinical Technology graduates would be almost guaranteed employment in this very difficult economic climate. The story of Boitekanelo College is highly inspirational.



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