Three quality assurance officials at the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) have been suspended for three months pending investigations. The trio is alleged to have flaunted procedure for registration and accreditation after certain colleges and universities exposed the BQA officials of corruption and bribery.
It is likely that these were exposed by tertiary institutions they had been doing favours for payment for compromising quality standards resulting in poor delivery at certain institutions that exhibited themselves through riots as the students were not happy with facilities and standards at certain institutions. They may also have been exposed by other disgruntled providers.
The Monitor can reveal that the suspended BQA officials were in charge of investigating quality and standards of facilities at the various tertiary institutions. However they would file glowing reports even in instances where things were out of hand. In many instances, experts’ reports were trashed, while in other instances, the officials chose not to be accompanied by an expert, as it is the requirement of BQA’s quality assurance rules.
The Monitor can also reveal that officials from various tertiary institutions came one-by- one to spill the beans about the trio, in what was the first expose of its kind since BQA was established.
Sources have told The Monitor that the institutions might have felt liberated to come and report incidents of corruption and bribery after the BQA CEO, Abel Modungwa went on air in one of the local radio stations inviting whoever has evidence of bribery and corruption to come up and report it.
In an interview with The Monitor, Modungwa confirmed the suspension of the three. He stated that the authority has received allegations of misconduct and was investigating. He said
He also confirmed that while in the past the allegations were thrown out due to lack of evidence, this time BQA could not ignore the allegations and wants to get to the bottom of the matter. “We have a duty to improve the quality of education and training and this depends to a large extend on how we conduct ourselves as an organisation and as individuals,” he said.
“Whenever a report reaches us concerning any of our officers who might be acting inappropriately, we take appropriate action swiftly. Our officers are expected to practise a high level of integrity and this is emphasised at all levels across the departments,” the BQA CEO said.
However, Modungwa was diplomatic in his explanation. “There are allegations they may have not followed accreditation procedure as they should. We take it extremely serious, especially when complainants come with the evidence they had. But we will be fair to the employees. They remain suspended for three months, but we expect to complete the investigations much earlier, possibly mid next week. We will attend to the report, conduct hearings and pronounce the decisions. The relevant structures will deal with the issue (s),” Modungwa told The Monitor.