37th graduation ceremony of the University of Botswana | 14 October 2019
Seychellois Tania Bellard best overall student
For the second consecutive year, a Seychellois student is the recipient of the UB Valedictorian award for best overall student at the University of Botswana. Tania Bellard received the prize during the 37th graduation ceremony on Friday at the UB Stadium in Gaborone.
In a heartfelt speech at the graduation ceremony for the class of 2019, Bellard, the 37th Valedictorian, said their academic journey began three years ago and for some of them it was a chance of a lifetime, something which they had much longed for.
Said Bellard: “While for most it was an opportunity to be part of the most prestigious university in the country (Botswana), for some of us it entailed crossing the oceans and leaving our families to further our studies in one of the renowned universities in the region.
“Our thirst for education was what guided us here. The journey began with mixed emotions and various expectations. With time, the university moulded us to be better individuals, to be responsible and committed, to be better planners, to be skilled time managers, and to acquire many such refined virtues. The acquisition of abundant knowledge at the university taught us to have increased dedication, perseverance and hard work. All of which are essentials for success.
“The endless hours we spent doing assignments, conducting research, and studying for tests and examinations have not been in vain. Today we are reaping the harvest of those endless hours and sacrifices for we have surmounted the challenges the university has thrown at us.
“Thankfully, this is not the end of our journey; it is only a stepping stone to the future. Our communities are waiting for our services for we are full of potential and have the expertise that is much needed by these communities.
“Let us therefore make valuable contributions and be the inspiration to others in our communities. Let our success inspire others to seek to be capacitated through education and other types of training (such as vocational training).
“Fellow graduands, remember that this achievement cannot be taken away from us. Like the Setswana saying goes: Thuto ke boswa (Education is an inheritance, it cannot be taken from you). Let us therefore use it to inspire others to acquire this invaluable ‘inheritance’ for the betterment of ourselves and our communities.
The honour of UB Valedictorian is given to a student who demonstrated an overall academic excellence and leadership qualities for the duration of his/her studies at the university.
Bellard attained 4.8 CGPA in her study of Bachelor of Education Secondary (Science).
A native of Praslin, Bellard graduated from the School of Advanced Level Studies (Sals) where she completed her A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths in 2008. She then joined the National Institute of Education for another two years and graduated in 2010 with a Diploma in Secondary Education majoring in Science and was the best performer in the programme.
She joined teaching in 2011 and in 2013 was promoted to head of department (HoD) of the Maths and Science department, becoming the youngest of the Belonie secondary school’s management team. She was also selected to take part in the development of the curriculum for secondary science nationally.
In January 2016 she embarked on her studies in Bachelor of Education Secondary School (Sciences) programme in the Faculty of Education, majoring in Biology at the University of Botswana.
Six other Seychellois teachers graduated on Friday.