Institutions of learning that fail to submit annual reports may have their registration and accreditation revoked, under the newly-gazetted regulations.
While the new BQA regulations also gives the Authority the powers to audit an institution at least once during its 10-year life cycle, the authority shall still expect to receive annual audit reports from institutions.
According to the new regulations, a person or entity that contravenes any provisions of the new BQA regulations shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of P5,000 or jailed for 5 years.
Institutions currently operating have until 12 months to regularise.
There shall be no laisser-faire attitude as institutions are also required by law to inform BQA of any changes in ownership, legal status, change of location of sites, or change in senior management or senior academic personnel, as well as changes in funding sources, or in any franchising or partnership arrangements, as well as about an increase or decrease in enrolment of more than 10%.
Institutions are also required to inform BQA of opening of new sites locally or outside Botswana, among others.
The BQA also shall publish in the media the name and particulars of every education and training provider whose programme or registration and accreditation has been revoked as well as the list of accredited institutions.
The new regulations also empower the BQA to suspend institutions violating quality assurance regulations for three years, as well
The accreditation of learning programmes is also key in the new BQA regulations.
Institutions offering learning programmes at any level, from pre-school, primary, secondary, higher education and vocational training, shall now be required to apply to the BQA for accreditation for such materials.
They shall not be allowed to offer any learning programme but that which is aligned to BQA’s newly developed National Credit and Qualification Framework (NCQF) standards or qualifications.
Learning programmes submitted for accreditation shall meet the national human resource needs and the accreditation of the learning programme shall be based on the requirements of the NCQF standards or qualifications. The BQA shall also periodically conduct audit of the accredited learning programmes and may also suspend or revoke accreditation for the learning programme if it is found that it no longer meets the criteria set, or when the institution had failed to produce audited annual report.
BQA shall also publish a list of learning programmes that have been revoked, indicating the names of the institutions that offered those learning programmes.
Continuing to offer a learning programme that has not been approved by the BQA shall attract a fine of P5,000 or five years prison term.