BOCODOL launches online service
Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) launched an online service that allows learners to apply from any place where there is internet connectivity.
The 24-hour portal marks a critical milestone in the growth of BOCODOL as it’s strives to transform into a technology driven institution. The online service, which operates through the use of the Integrated Tertiary System (ITS), facilitates application and registration for programmes. It manages student database, provides student information management, integrating operations as well as ensuring consistency of information through integration of enrolment functions.
Speaking at the launch of the online service last week, BOCODOL Deputy Executive Director and Support Services, Miriam Maroba said the online services makes the student application possible for those in distant areas to apply without having to come to BOCODOL offices.However, Maroba says despite the decency of an innovative to resolve systems there are always challenges surrounding it and as BOCODOL they have worked around the clock to attend challenges that came with this innovation.
“We had discovered the challenge of connectivity and internet, and what we did was to make sure that students have access across the country,” Maroba says, adding that there was a technical support challenge in many areas and they had to create call centres for access. She says they also fought the delays of the manual selections after the closing date of registration, which has been taken into consideration. “We have also set up e-payment services and open schooling enrolment for students at junior and senior schools,” Maroba added.
Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Fidelis Molao commended BOCODOL for its positive response to National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy developments in the country and urged other institutions to follow suit.He says the BOCODOL online services are a core priority goal after his ministry developed and commenced the implementation of the Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP) that is geared at improving the outcomes of education in the country.
“As the education sector, we seek to make ICT a core-driver of teaching and learning,” he cited.According to BOCODOL, the online service has already been piloted with the application of Diploma in Business Management (DBM). Online applications for DBM programme were successfully made at any place where there was Internet connectivity. Those with no internet facilities were encouraged to visit the College Regional Centres in Francistown, Palapye, Maun, Kang and Gaborone, where computers were made available to applicants. The College has now achieved its intention to have all programmes applied and registered for on-line in 2016.
Meanwhile, the College has also embarked on a review of its Information Communication Technology (ICT) policy and infrastructure. The plan is to have a final ICT Strategy Document ready for the new Open University.BOCODOL urged stakeholders to partner with them to ensure growth in the education system of the country.