Botswana Qualification Authority is to assess the entire education system pipeline from early childhood to tertiary level.
This was announced by the (BQA) Chief Executive Officer, Abel Modungwa at a media briefing on BQA Regulations recently.
Modungwa was speaking on the backdrop of the recently released appalling junior certificate results which showed only 32.4% of students obtained grade C and above, a slight decline from last year’s 33.41%.
He said that BQA was established to quality assure education and training from early childhood to higher education, across the three levels of General Education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Higher Education.
He further explained that BQA has a National Credit and Qualification Network where learners get to accumulate their credits as they transfer schools and because its industry standard, it will help also when learners transfer outside the country.
“This network will do away with the system where learners had to start from scratch when they changed schools, a system which was prevalent in local tertiary institutions,” he clarified.
The system will also help informal learners, especially in the arts and craft field to accumulate credits wherever possible, Modungwa stated.
“BQA does not promise to create new jobs but to make sure people have relevant qualifications for the jobs that are available,” he stated.
In January 2009, Cabinet approved the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS), which recommended a rationalization strategy to eliminate overlapping mandates and duplication of services between the then Tertiary Education Council (TEC) and the Botswana training Authority (BOTA).
“There were issues of a fragmented education and training system that hindered progression and articulation,” said Modungwa, adding that the strategy recommended establishment of the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) and BQA.
Presenting on the fees that BQA will be charging Education and Training Providers (ETPs), Awarding Bodies, Assessors and Moderators, Trainers and all stakeholders, BQA Director of Business Development, Dr Andrew Molwane justified the prices saying they are not exorbitant.
“As part of our cost recovery initiative which replaces the cost sharing that we’ve found to put a burden on our budget, we will be able to attain almost 30% of our P110, 000, 000 annual budget,” he explained adding that the institution accreditation license takes 10 years so the charges are affordable.
To better understand the transition into the new regulatory framework, Molwane directed all affected to get the requirements of the new regulations that are detailed in the criteria and guidelines documents (i.e. Quality Assurance Standards) developed by the Authority to operate the new regulations.