Teachers to get licensed next year

Raphael Dingalo.PIC.BOTEPCO
Raphael Dingalo.PIC.BOTEPCO

Next year the teaching profession will shift its gears with the licensing of teachers, the governing body for the teaching profession, Botswana Teaching Professional Council (BOTEPCO) has revealed. This means teachers will be required to produce a licensing certificate before they can teach anywhere.

During a media briefing on Tuesday, BOTEPCO Registrar, Dr Raphael Dingalo announced that they introduced a teaching license to improve the teaching profession. Dingalo also said following the new move, no one shall be employed or allowed to practice as a teacher unless they are registered with the council and have been issued a teaching licence.

“A person who employs a person who is not registered with the council and issued with a license commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding P15,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both. In addition a person who practices without a teaching license commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding P5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both,” Dingalo said. He explained that an application for such shall be made to the council in the prescribed form. However, for citizens, the Registrar said the license will be valid for a period of 36 months from the date of registration while for a person is a non-citizen, the license will not exceed 60 months from the date of registration. In addition, Dingalo said in support of the registration and licensing of teachers, the BOTEPCO will develop high-level system architecture for the convenience of teachers. The Registrar further pointed out that the process of registration would start early next year and teachers will be given a certain time for registration. He said they hope that the new policy will be effective by mid-next year.

Still on the matter, BOTEPCO vice chairperson Mogomotsi Motshegwa said: “As teachers' unions, our concern has always been and remains a teaching profession characterised by key indicators including a unique and specialised body of knowledge and skill; educational standards for entry and an acceptable standard of professional competence; standards for ongoing practice and defined criteria for continuous professional development and learning; agreed code of conduct; continuous self-review against agreed standards, responsibility for disciplinary procedures for teachers and independence of BOTEPCO as a parastatal.” Moreover, Motshegwa said there is lack of an agreed code of conduct, all of which became key contributors to a declining academic performance in Botswana’s general education system. The vice chairperson said the teacher unions have been briefing their members about the mandate of the council. He also revealed that since they are the ones issuing and reviewing the licenses, then they would be able to revoke it when one goes against the code and conduct of the council.

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