MASERU — The National University of Lesotho (NUL) lost 26 doctorate degree holders between July 2011 and August 2012.
Two professors and three associate professors resigned during the same period. While these highly qualified lecturers were leaving the university the management also decided to push seven doctorate degree holders into early retirement in November 2011 alone. The most affected was the Faculty of Science and Technology from where nine lecturers resigned between July 2011 and July 2012.
Four of those who left the department were PhD holders while five had Masters’ degrees. Interestingly this is one of the faculties which had the highest failure rate in the last semester. The Faculty of Social Science lost six lecturers who included four PhD and two Masters Degree holders. Four PhD holders who included two associate professors left the Faculty of Humanities.
The faculty of Health Sciences lost two lecturers who had PhDs. A Masters Degree and a PhD holder left the Faculty of Agriculture. In November 2011 alone 13 senior managers and lecturers were pushed into early retirement. This was done despite that some lecturers had already indicated their desire to leave the university. A senior official who spoke to this paper last night said since August 2012 more lecturers have either resigned or been forced into early retirement.
He said while it is normal for lecturers to resign what is particularly surprising is the number of doctorate degree holders who are leaving the university.
Equally surprising, he said, is the fact that the university management finds it prudent to force more doctorate degree holders into early retirement at a time when others with similar qualifications are “leaving in droves”. The official said in most cases those who have left have been replaced by lecturers with lesser qualifications. “The majority have not been replaced,” he said.
“But the biggest problem is that even the few who have recently joined us are already packing their bags because they were given one-year contracts. They don’t feel secure.” Pro-Vice Chancellor Mafa Sejanamane who is in charge of academics at NUL said he does not know why lecturers are leaving the university “I don’t know why this is happening,” Sejanamane said when asked about the resignations.
“I have seen that teachers are resigning but I cannot say why”.