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LIPAM students hold own graduation ceremony


…as institution bemoans bankruptcy

Mafa Moleko

Lesotho Institution of Administration and Management (LIPAM) students held own their graduation ceremony celebrations in Maseru last week.

According to the institution’s former Student Representative Committee (SRC) President Tumane Nyeoe, the student took matters into own hands when they realized there was never going to be a ceremony for them.

Speaking to Newsday this week, Nyeoe indicated that the students who were supposed to have graduated last year in September did not graduate because the institution said it was out of funds. 

Then the students and the school management are said to have then begun negotiations on how to reach a kind of compromise and host the event. It was during these talks that it was agreed that the school be given an additional three months to prepare for the graduation ceremony.

“When the institution told us they did not have money for graduations, we as students asked to meet the school half way for the ceremony to take place but that suggestion was turned down,” Nyeoe said.

He added that the institution explained that it would not be appropriate to have students incur costs of financing their own graduation ceremony by themselves. However, both parties had eventually agreed that the ceremony would be held after three months which would be last week whence a hall was even duly secured and necessary payments made.

However, their dream to shine in graduation gowns of honor faded as students later received a message from the hall management that the institution has pulled out of the event again.

“We had agreed with the institution that we shall have the graduations after three months but this changed after we were told by the management of the hall that LIPAM had written to the hall management telling them that they are not part of the mission to hold the graduations ceremony at the venue,” Nyeoe added.

He said when the students inquired about the withdrawal to the institution, they were told they will graduate in June 2022.

This however did not sit well with the students who told this paper that the decision was unreasonable since the upcoming students will be closing the schools in June.

“We knew the school was not being truthful when suggesting the June date because during the same time students will have just finished writing their exams and the marking will be in process,” he explained adding that it is impossible for the school to hold the graduation twice in a one year.

One of the former lecturers who preferred to comment on condition of anonymity, said it was not surprising that LIPAM students held the ceremony without the school’s approval as it was the second time something of the same manner happened.

“Though I no longer work at the institution, I was there at Mojalefa Lephole Victory hall where the students held their ceremony to witness the graduations,” she said, adding that even in 2017 students had still held own graduation ceremony.

Meanwhile, for her part, LIPAM’s Director General Nthabiseng Tlhomola, said she was not aware that her students were holding such a ceremony at the Victory Hall in Maseru.

According to Tlhomola, the students had only made a request which the institution did not consider approved due to financial constraints.

“We only received the request but it was not approved because of the financial issues the institution is currently faced with. We could not allow students to pay for their graduation ceremony yet they happen to fail pay for the fees. We thought that would be difficult for them,” she explained.

She said she has never written a letter of withdrawal to Victor Hall claiming the institution is not involved in the graduations ceremony.

“We haven’t negotiated with the Victory Hall before so we could not withdraw from what we had not been involved in, in the first place” she said.

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