THE National Health Training College (NHTC) will not be enrolling students for the 2021 academic year.
NHTC Director General Nthabiseng Molise said the move was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which had disrupted their calendar.
Addressing a press conference in Maseru this week, Ms Molise said although their academic year starts in July, those who were enrolled last year only started classes in January 2021 due to the Covid-19 induced disruptions.
It was therefore not feasible to enroll new students for the 2021 academic year when last year’s intake had only just begun learning a few months ago, she said.
“When the hard lockdowns were introduced last year, schools and higher learning institutions closed. We also closed and changed the times we usually conduct our finals examinations which is May,” Ms Molise said.
“We had our final examinations in December 2020 and this caused disruptions to our programmes. The students who were supposed to begin classes in July 2020 then had to start in January 2021.
“Even then we had not anticipated the second wave of Covid-19 which affected us and right now we are not even sure whether we will be affected by a third wave of infections.
“We therefore requested the ministry of health to grant us permission to move the 2021 admissions to 2022,” Ms Molise said.
She said only students for the Psychiatric Mental Health programme will be admitted this July because their numbers were very low. Not more than 10 students would be enrolled for this programme, she said.
She said deferring this year’s intake was necessary to maintain high standards of training at the institution.
She also said having two first year intakes in the same calendar year would not be proper given the need to abide by Covid-19 protocols which bar large gatherings and prescribe social distancing.