As part of their second countrywide tour to engage communities on their new mandate and raising awareness on the new education and training system, Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) last week engaged with Kgosi Tsimane Mokgosi and Balete community at their main Kgotla in Ramotswa.
Since the beginning of this year, BQA has embarked on a countrywide tour that saw them travel as far as Tsabong and Kasane. In the new system, in terms of the BQA Act and its regulations, all Education and Training Providers (ETPs), either public or private, are to be registered and accredited with the Authority. Furthermore, no learning programme can be offered until it has been accredited. The regulations cover all schools, workplaces, consultancies, NGOs etc., that provide education and training at all levels.
This according to BQA Assessment Officer, Peter Gabaratane, is an improvement in the old system under which learning programmes from private ETPs were subjected to a two- stage assurance process of programme review and approval, as well as programme accreditation. He said the old system allowed approved, provisionally accredited, and fully accredited programmes to run.
The other improvement is that both public and private education and training providers will register and accredit with BQA. The introduction of the National Credit and Qualifications Framework will ensure seamless articulation and progression across levels and will promote international competiveness. Gabaratane said the requirements of the new regulations are detailed in the criteria and guidelines documents (i.e Quality Assurance Standards) developed by the Authority to operationalize the new regulations. He assured them that a correlation matrix has also been developed to highlight significant changes between the old and new regulations.
Balete Royal Kgosi Tsimane Mokgosi said he appreciated the work of Botswana Qualifications Authority and called on Balete to take home the messages delivered during the day. He said issues of education are significant and very sensitive. However Kgosi Mokgosi also enquired if it was possible for initiation schools, culture and traditional dance to be accredited by BQA. Initiation schools are one of the founding traditions that define the Balete tribe that is still held with high regard.
For his part Gabaratane said that is possible because traditions are well catered for. He however advised Kgosi Mokgosi that the process is upon them to come up with the criteria and teaching materials and BQA’s role would be to approve and accredit them. “Balete can have a national college that teaches other tribes about initiation schools and procedures,” noted Gabaratane.
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.
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.
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.