Roar­ing send off for med­i­cal stu­dents

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi and Lim­pho Sello

ED­U­CA­TION and Train­ing Min­is­ter Dr Ma­hali Phamotse yes­ter­day urged med­i­cal stu­dents go­ing to Zam­bia and Zim­babwe for train­ing to re­main fo­cused given the sac­ri­fices made for their ed­u­ca­tion.

The min­is­ter made the re­mark dur­ing a colour­ful farewell cer­e­mony in Maseru for 31 stu­dents set for Cop­per­belt Univer­sity School of Medicine and 44 fourth and fifthyear stu­dents re­turn­ing to the Univer­sity of Zim­babwe (UZ).

The Zam­bia-bound stu­dents had been en­rolled at the Le­sotho School of Medicine (LSOM), but their fu­ture had been thrown into dis­ar­ray af­ter it emerged the in­sti­tu­tion, which was es­tab­lished in 2014, did not meet the re­quired in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

A Qual­ity As­sur­ance Com­mit­tee of the Le­sotho Coun­cil on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion sealed LSOM’S fate last year when it rec­om­mended the school should not be ac­cred­ited to train doc­tors as it did not have the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce such spe­cialised per­son­nel.

Af­ter the rec­om­men­da­tion, LSOM stopped en­rolling its second in­take that was sup­posed to start on its pro­gramme in Septem­ber 2015.

The stu­dents’ fate had re­mained in limbo un­til the gov­ern­ment inked a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with the Zam­bian gov­ern­ment to send the stu­dents to the Ndolabased in­sti­tute.

In line with the agree­ment, Cop­per­belt Univer­sity School of Medicine of­fi­cials vis­ited Le­sotho last month to as­sess the stu­dents and de­ter­mine the lev­els at which they would be en­rolled.

Of the 31 stu­dents, 10 are ex­pected to fly to Zam­bia today, while the rest are set to leave in the com­ing days. The Harare-bound con­tin­gent, which had al­ready started their stud­ies with the UZ un­der a pre­vi­ous agree­ment be­tween the two coun­tries, is sched­uled to leave be­fore the end of the month.

Dr Phamotse said find­ing places for the stu­dents af­ter the clo­sure of LSOM had been a mam­moth task.

“I am glad that this day is fi­nally a real- ity. I hope you are go­ing to make us proud by work­ing hard and prov­ing to us that we didn’t make a mis­take with all the ef­forts we made to send you to school,” she said.

“I am in­formed that the Zam­bian in­spec­tors came in to as­sess you. They found out that there were some pro­grammes which you didn’t cover and this will put some of you a year be­hind.”

The min­is­ter said the stu­dents should re- main fo­cused on the task be­fore them.

“I would like to urge you to take the op­por­tu­nity you have very se­ri­ously and re­mem­ber that you have to come back home when you have fin­ished your stud­ies,” she said.

Also in at­ten­dance was Health Min­is­ter, Dr ‘Molotsi Monya­mane, who also im­plored the stu­dents to keep their feet firmly on the ground dur­ing the course of their stud­ies.

“When you get there, avoid al­co­hol, drugs and love af­fairs. Your time to en­gage in such ac­tiv­i­ties will come. You need to re­mem­ber at all times why you are in those coun­tries, so don’t get too ex­cited,” he said.

“I am glad to note that we now have more than 50 po­ten­tial med­i­cal doc­tors and I am sure you will all come back to serve the peo­ple. Stick to your com­mit­ment to come home af­ter com­plet­ing your stud­ies.”

Min­is­ters and some of the med­i­cal stu­dents pose for a group por­trait yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.