BQA launches National Credit and Qualifications Framework

The Botswana Qualifications Authority(BQA) on Tuesday launched the new regulations gazetted on the 4th January 2017 as part of the National Human Resource Development Strategy approved by Cabinet in 2009, which endeavors to eliminate overlapping mandates and duplication of services between what was formerly the Tertiary Education Council and the Botswana Training Authority.

There were issues of fragmented education and training systems hindering progression and articulation. The strategy recommended the establishment of the Human resource Development Council and the Botswana Qualifications Authority.

"BQA has been established to ensure quality education and training from early childhood to higher education, that is across the three levels of General education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training(TVET) and Higher Education," said Abel Modungwa, Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Qualifications Authority(BQA).

He said, "This is meant to ensure a common quality assurance platform that will clearly set standards of teaching and learning for the entire Education and Training System. It will improve co-ordination of the system and address issues of National Credit and Qualifications Framework and quality assurance. Worth noting is that unlike ion the previous regime, where Public Education and Training Provider's(ETP's) were only registered, BQA will register and accredit both public and private Education and Training Providers(ETP)."

The provision for and maintenance of the National Credit and Qualifications Framework, introduce an outcome based system in Botswana. It will ensure clear definition of levels, qualifications and it will detail skills, knowledge and competencies expected at each level.

"This will ensure defined articulation and progression and will result in our national qualifications being portable, internationally comparable and will facilitate seamless learner mobility. This system will also provide for Credit Accumulation and Transfer," said Modungwa.

He said, "These reforms will improve the quality of education and training, facilitate dialogue between demand, which is industry and supply, being Education and Training Providers. The overall objective is to produce graduates that are job ready, can self-employ and are globally competitive."

Modungwa maintained that the key emphasis was on improving quality, relevance, access and equity to address challenges of job skills mismatch. Core to the BQA mandate is learner protection, hence the engagement with Student Representative Councils.

BQA has a gazette schedule of fees for some of its services and will soon embark on a nationwide tour to address Education and Training Providers, professional bodies, unions and associations, students, Local Government officials, tribal authorities, area members of Parliament, District Commissioners and Village Development Committees amongst others, to inform stakeholders and receive feedback.

A transitional guide has been developed and capacity building clinics will be conducted across the country to enhance understanding of Regulations and transitional arrangements

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