The money makers

S

crutator is fed up to the back teeth with that bare-bone college called Limkokwing University of Creative Technology that claims to be innovative about education.

Just a few weeks ago the university, which operates from a mixture of makeshift structures and buildings from which some people were forced to vacate, came to a standstill when students went on strike.

We were told that the university’s management in Malaysia had delayed the release of students’ stipends.

As usual the management tried to blame the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS), the tried and tested scapegoat.

But this time the NMDS successfully parried the blame and the mess ended up back at that so-called campus which is smaller than some preschools in this country.

The NMDS had achieved a rare feat by doing its job on time.

Hurray!

Someone in Malaysia had sat on the allowances until the students, most of whom were blocked from proper universities due to poor COSC grades, decided enough was enough.

Hungry, angry, broke and perhaps thirsty (for beer) the students took to the streets.

Fearing that the tiny campus would be reduced to rubble the management shut down the university.

Normalcy was to return to the beleaguered college and learning, if that is what happens there, resumed.

But soon the students were angry again.

What were the “D” students crying about this time?

Well, that Malaysian management was still counting the profits from this semester.

As expected, the local management dashed for the gates again and shut them for a few days.

Then this week the management, tired of being overworked or just hostile to hard work, decided that it was their turn to raise concerns.

They wrote a letter informing the management that they could not cope with the classes.

The manager who took that letter to the management is said to have been promptly demoted.

The lecturers were peeved and classes stopped again.

Scrutator is not surprised by the shenanigans at the bare bone college.

It was always going to end up like this.

You see, unlike the National University of Lesotho, Limkokwing is a profit-making organisation run by capitalist minded people who know how to sweet-talk poor governments into paying them millions for some things that look like degrees.

They are here to make money and they are making it in buckets from a government that is desperate to be seen to be starting things.

And the beauty about this university, if at all it qualifies for that description, is that it doesn’t really have to achieve spectacular things to make a profit.

The business model is simple: cash comes from Lesotho taxpayers in the form of sponsorship for students and the management has to spend as little as possible on teaching the students.

The less money they spend on core business the more they make in profits.

It doesn’t matter even if they are churning out graduates with degrees that other universities don’t recognise, the government picks up the bill in the name of educating the people.

In real sense Limkokwing is a state-funded university that only becomes a private one when the time comes to share the dividends.

Limkokwing is a money minting machine that can only stop working when the government realises that laptops, massive branding and claims of being “innovative” do not make better graduates.

If you think Scrutator is being malicious just compare the fees structures of Limkokwing and NUL.

Because this is a commercial entity the shareholders in Malaysia will never allow a local manager to get near real decision making positions.

The result is that local managers who are supposed to be running the university are forever on the phone receiving instructions about little problems.

The lecturers will one day understand that, like any other business, Limkokwing survives on making them do more for less.

The students too will realise that it does not make business sense for the university management in Malaysia to receive money from the Lesotho government and dish it out to them pronto.

It is prudent to park the money in a bank, accrue some interest before wiring it back to Lesotho.

The day this government announces that it is too broke to sponsor tertiary students in this country Limkokwing will pack its bags, spit into our faces and vamoose.

Ever asked yourself why Limkokwing is not in a rush to have a proper campus in Lesotho?

They don’t want to commit money to a project they have not really convinced is here to stay.

Scrutator will say more about this excuse of a university next week.

I

sn’t it surprising that when the Wikileaks came most newspapers, apart from this one and its Sunday sister, censored themselves until they became useless rags.

The reporters, who are fond of hunting in packs like jackals, agreed to bury their heads in the sand like ostriches.

It was such a sad sight watching journalists struggling to tiptoe past a story that was “crying out to be written”.

Only a Lesotho Television made a feeble attempt to do something about the Wikileaks by asking a minister to confirm if what the Lesotho Times had written was correct.

That was the last time the word “Wikileaks” was ever mentioned in that watch-if-you-can-withstand-the-propaganda TV station.

Still on the media, Scrutator is yet to understand why local radio stations have not raised the entry level qualification for DJs to at least a JC certificate.

The kind of monkeyshines on our airwaves is astounding.

Just last week two pathetic DJs whom Scrutator doesn’t know from a bar of soap were busy ranting and raving about a tiny story in the Lesotho Times.

The paper’s crime was that it mentioned that a certain pageant was not well attended and the contestants were beauties without brains.

The chubbier of the two DJs even took his fight to Facebook.

Scrutator will deal with him next week after he gets paid.

It might be dangerous for her to whip the boy when he is broke.

Ache!

scrutator29@gmail.com

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