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Botswana on the right track in implementation of Qualification framework – BQA

Botswana is heading in the right way in its bid to implement the National Qualification Framework (NQF), Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Selebo Jobe has revealed.

Speaking at Higher Education Providers Breakfast meeting, Jobe indicated that Botswana is not far from the rest of the SADC region, noting that actually, only three countries, South Africa, Namibia and South Africa have started implement their qualification frameworks. The meeting was organised to brief higher education providers on the latest with regard to the the transition with the key discussion being on registration of qualifications on the National Credit and Qualifications Framework, a new feature of Botswana’s education and training system.

Jobe highlighted that BQA and Higher Education Providers, in groups and one on one have been meeting to discuss transition, challenges and way forward. “There is a need for all to show commitment to transition and adhere to transition plan. The success of the transition rests on all players and we surely can achieve this,” she said. Jobe encourage ETPs expiring in December 2018, who have not yet submitted for renewal to submit immediately.

“This is already delayed because the Regulations provides that ETP to apply at least 6 months prior to expiry,” she said. Jobe noted that those valid beyond December 2018 to submit variances to trigger audits, to ensure continued compliance with the new requirements. 
She also observed that some ETPs are now submitting qualifications – first group of experts trained (Qualifications validation Panels) and that more will be done to cater for the different sub-fields of learning.

The Acting CEO pleaded with ETPs to bear with BQA since this a new exercise and will need time and due diligence. She contended that there is need to engage international experts to ensure international competitiveness, relevance of qualifications and portability of these awards. According to Jobe, BQA will also engage Student Representative Councils (SRCs) during and beyond transition due to the importance of learner protection so they prepare for eventualities.

“Management to ensure continued compliance to set standards and communicate changes with immediate effect because lack of communication leads to disgruntled learners, in most instances,” she said. Jobe spoke of the need to ensure integrity during their entire process, a commitment which she said should come from all stakeholders. BQA had invited Dr Shamrita Bhika from JET Educational Services in South African to help unravel the concept of the qualification framework based her expertise and experience woring in the same environment in South Africa.

Dr Bhika said BQA National Qualification Framework is in line with international standards and is meant to respond to economic challenges. Dr Bhika advised ETPs and other stakeholders to know the documents before starting the implementation of the framework. Also speaking at the breakfast meeting was the BQA Board Chairperson Charles Siwawa, who gave an overview of the event and also the importance of having such engagement going forward.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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