From the streets of Bontleng where he grew up, Dr Tiroyaone Mampane attained a degree in Medicine and went on to establish Boitekanelo College, an institution which is growing in leaps and bounds and changing the local tertiary education landscape.
In this week’s edition of Meet the Boss, the 44-year-old doctor and entrepreneur talks about the institution’s firm foundation as well as future prospects for the business.
Who is Dr Mampane outside the corporate walls of Boitekanelo College?
I am from Mochudi but was raised in Bontleng, Gaborone by my mother together with my younger brothers.
I come from very humble beginnings; never really had anything on a silver platter.
I am a medical doctor by training, having obtained my Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 2003 from then Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA).
I am currently studying for my Masters in Business Administration with Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria).
I have also undertaken several Post Graduate programs in management such as Project Management, Finance for Non-Finance and in 2018 I completed the SEED Programme with Stanford Business School.
Take us through your career journey before the birth of Boitekanelo College?
Upon completing my tertiary education, I returned home and worked at Princess Marina Hospital as a medical doctor where I worked for a short stint (around 2 years) before going private running a private clinic at West Gate mall.
Thereafter we established the then Boitekanelo Training Institute, now Boitekanelo College (BC) in 2007. At the time, the HIV/AIDS scourge was at some of its peak years in Botswana; nurses were overwhelmed by workloads and were performing duties outside their scope of work, some were leaving the country for greener pastures while others, who worked at health facilities were untrained and needed upskilling.
There was critical need for healthcare assistance (auxiliary), and I identified this gap.
Boitekanelo Training Institute was thus established as a call for action to bridge this gap hence Healthcare Assistance course being the first course to be offered by the institution.
What are your daily duties at Boitekanelo?
My duty is basically to provide strategic direction towards the College mandate and offer leadership both in academic and administrative activities of the college.
It’s also to ensure we deliver on the promise of our students and stakeholders of quality health education and exceptional experience.
How is Boitekanelo College doing in the tertiary education landscape?
The College is doing quite well in the private tertiary landscape and we are the pioneer and leader in the private healthcare education in Botswana.
Our investment and commitment to infrastructure and curriculum development is a testimony to living our purpose. Our people’s experience and diversity play a significant role in tertiary landscape.
Are there any plans to see Boitekanelo College attaining full university status?
Certainly, and we are working towards that.
Several requirements ought to be met but that is where we are headed as an institution.
It’s part of our growth strategy.
What sets Boitekanelo College apart from other institutions?
BC is a first mover in the provision of healthcare programmes by private tertiary institutions.
We offer unique and industry driven programmes that are sought by both employers and students.
Our agile leadership style that promotes innovation and continuously building on our people dynamic capabilities and competencies sets us apart.
We recently launched a Centre for Professional Development Studies where we will be housing new, exciting, and customized Leadership and Management Development Programmes (LMDP) which were developed in partnership with Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) targeting in-service health professionals.
Lately government sponsorship to students who are tertiary bound have been declining every year, how have that affected your institution??And how is it coping??
Fortunately for us, the pandemic highlighted the role Human Resource for Health play in our society.
So Covid-19 accelerated the demand for our graduates in both public and private healthcare industry thus creating a high demand for our programmes.
So as much as there is a decline in sponsorship, the College has managed to retain our enrolment numbers.
So I am optimistic of a better future.
In 2020 there were lockdowns due to Covid-19, students stayed home for long times. Which digital measures did the institution employ to keep learning ongoing??
The then circumstances led us to a blended teaching environment where students were taught online and at times with physical contact and they adapted.
Adaptation and leveraging on technology are part of our 2020-2025 strategy thus was not so difficult to switch to online learning as it was already embedded in our culture.
Any plans to expand Boitekanelo College beyond one campus?
As the demand for our courses increases, as they seem to be, we shall!
What difference has Boitekanelo College brought to the local tertiary education landscape?
The fact that we offer courses that are different from those of other institutions is what we brought to the tertiary education landscape.
Our learning programmes truly change lives of our students and ultimately our patients thus strengthening healthcare service delivery.
We also believe our graduates will augment the current shortage of healthcare personnel in Botswana and the region, something that we have been doing for the past 15 years and we are looking at another 15 more years and beyond.
What are the biggest challenges and highlights of Boitekanelo?
BC is celebrating its 15 years anniversary and just like any College, it has had its fair share of ups and downs through the years.
Some of our challenges include those with the regulators and the registration of some of our graduates with Botswana Health Professions Council (BHPC).
A challenge that the leadership of BC is working tirelessly to resolve.
The proudest achievement is the many lives that we changed during our journey.
We have managed to secure partnerships with some of the leading universities such as the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Ministry of Health Eswatini, Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness, Nurses Union and Doctors Union among others-these strategic partnerships cement our credibility internationally and locally.
BC is also one of the first three institutions to be accredited with Botswana Qualification Authority according to the new act of 2013 and it is also one of the few institutions to be certified by Botswana Bureau of Standards according to ISO 9001: 2015 standard.
Some of our milestones also include that we have graduated over 6000 students and 60 – 70% are employed in the sector.
I believe that this is a great achievement when you look at the rate of unemployment in Botswana and the region.
We are also proud that we have over 200 employees thus helping in human capital development within the country.
We have been able to recruit the best in the market and we anticipate continuing in the trajectory.
The College is celebrating 15 years milestone this year, what should we expect?
May 7, BC will be celebrating its 15th anniversary since establishment and there are several activities lined up.
There will be a gala dinner on the day and staff, students and alumni will be recognized at different events.
There will be a 15km race on May 21st, which is open to the public and all proceeds will be donated to charity.
How do you spend your free time?
Away from my busy schedule, I spend time with my beautiful wife and two children, keep fit by running, read inspirational and entrepreneurship books, watch my favorite soccer team Liverpool.