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Uproar Over BQA Fees

The newly established Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and
Technology and regulator Botswana Qualifications Authority(BQA) are being
accused of employing one size fits all solutions and employing stakeholder
forums to rubberstamp predetermined outcomes without taking into account
input from a broad array of stakeholders to guide decision making on policy
formulation.

It follows an outpouring of stakeholder outrage over exorbitant fee
schedule prescribed by the regulator for accredited institutions as
stipulated in the Botswana Qualifications Authority(BQA) Act of 2016.

“Most of the organizations covered by the BQA Act, train individuals. We
are hired by the employers to train their employees. Our customers are a
little different. Companies are concerned with changed behavior and
institutions with learned behavior,” said Adam Vickers, Director of
Development at Franklin Covey and Interim Chairperson of Botswana
Association of Workplace Training Providers.

He said, “Our customers care about what employees do and educational
institution what learners know. Our programmes are therefore always
changing. If you do not adapt and change to meet expectations you will not
survive in the market place, which is quite ruthless. We are therefore
trying to find appropriate level of regulation and feel fees must be much
lower.”

It is proposed in terms of the statutory instrument talking of the
arrangement of the regulations that for renewal of  registration and
accreditation as education and training providers for not more than 10
years consultants must pay P20,000, workplace trainers P25,000 and tertiary
institutions P40,000.

Audits of education and training providers teaching up to 100 learners will
pay P40,000, between 101-500 learners P60,000 and institutions with over
500 learners P80,000.

Registering and accrediting an additional site will cost P80,000 for early

childhood trainers, P10,000 for primary learners, P20,000 for secondary
learners, P15,000 for consultants, P25,000 for workplace trainers and
P30,000 for Tertiary education  trainers.

“My view is that there needs to be a flat rate fee schedule. I can see no
justification for the fee of P10,000 and I believe fees should be less than
what they are charging. It has to be affordable,” said Professor John
Cooke, Director of Quality Management at BIUST.

He said, “Accrediting courses should be longer than 5 years as most
qualifications usually take 3-5 years. It is also very strange that the
accreditation process is taken without providing time for an evaluation of
the quality of graduates educational providers are producing.”

Accrediting and renewing of learning programmes at Tertiary level is not
valid for more than 5 years and costs P30,000 for institutions offering
short courses at A-Level certificate level, P40,000 for Diploma courses,
P60,000 for institutions offering Bachelors degree, P65,000 for honours
degree and post graduate certificates, P70,000 for Masters degree courses
and P80,000 for Doctoral courses.

“These consultations are important because fees introduced in January are
felt to be high. Stakeholder discussions are therefore essential going
coming forward because this issue is delaying transition,” said Ezekiel
Raisaka Thekiso, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Botswana Qualifications
Authority.

He said, “We are in the process of revising fees in response to outcry over
high fees. It is very urgent because we have 5 months left to complete the
transitional arrangement.”

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