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BQA tightens up quality assurance

BABOKI KAYAWE
BQA CEO-Abel Modungwa
The Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) will soon implement quality assurance measures in the entire education sector as informed by latest developments in its regulatory role, Mmegi has learnt.

The latest development is expected to commence in April, in efforts to guarantee quality across the general education sector in order to ensure a common platform that will clearly set standards of teaching and learning for the whole education and training system.

BQA chief executive officer, Abel Modungwa told the press yesterday that under the new regime, the authority would register and accredit both private and public education and training providers from early childhood to higher education.

“It will improve coordination of the system and address issues of the National Credit and Qualifications Framework (NCQF) and quality assurance,” he said.

The NCQF, as explained by authorities, would introduce an outcome-based learning system, ensure clear definition of levels, qualifications and would entail skills, knowledge and competencies expected at each level.

On the sidelines of the media briefing, Modungwa told Mmegi the just-released Junior Certificate Examination results are not satisfactory and are a great concern to BQA.

“It is very pertinent that the BQA brings a support system that will improve results at a broader level,” he said.  He said they are going to collaborate with the impending teaching council so that the body provides code of ethics, with BQA ensuring that standards are top notch to ensure quality in teaching and learning.

“What is going to happen is that BQA will assess all schools

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to measure the quality and standards of facilities, resources, to look into issues of class size as well as gauge whether there is enough contact time between teachers and learners,” he said.

Thereafter, recommendations would be made to the relevant Ministry to ensure that whatever found wanting is remedied, then the school would be registered and accredited to offer services. Moreover, BQA will investigate whether school management has been capacitated to run institutions.

“Maybe school heads have not been given leadership courses, and we will ensure that such skills are availed to them,” Modungwa added.

Previously, BQA used to have provisional accreditation for programmes at tertiary education, however, under the new dispensation that will no longer be granted. In addition, tertiary institutions are now required to play a crucial role in ensuring that lecturers’ academic credentials are authentic before they recruit them. However, BQA will also cross check to curb fraudulent academics who are rampant of late.  Failure to comply would lead to their licences revoked, warned Modungwa.

“The emphasis is on improving quality, relevance, access and equity to address challenges of skills mismatch,” he added.

The authority will be working with Student Representative Councils (SRCs)at higher education level to ensure total compliance by institutions.

“Core to the BQA mandate is learner protection, hence our engagement with SRCs,” Modungwa added.



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