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BQA boost P17 million integrated ICT system

BQA

The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) Dr Botsanalo Mosimakoko has pointed out that the Authority continues to face challenges that makes it difficult to implement their wide mandate.

While briefing members of the media this week, the new boss said key amongst others is the legislative provisions which they are now calling for review. Mosimakoko said a national Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy has been drafted, consultations done, and submitted to Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research and Science and Technology (MOTE) for approval.

“The Act review alongside other legislative provisions are currently at proposal stage and we hope for a response as soon as early next year,” she said. However Mosimakoko said they continue to face challenges such as internal and external capacity to uptake the BQA services.

She pointed that lack of capacity delays processing and conclusion of applications. She promised that recruitment of staff to reach the 155 staff establishment will be done in the first two quarters of the next financial year to improve capacity and that stakeholder engagements, both internal and external, to build capacity will be undertaken for the specific problem areas.

The new BQA boss said partnerships and networks will be maintained, or developed, to improve capacity and facilitate information sharing to ensure global competitiveness of Botswana’s education and training system.  She promised that BQA will also consider outsourcing some of its functions.

Another challenge is that of limited pool of subject matter experts. The Authority engages subject matter experts to evaluate applications for registration and accreditation of Education and Training Providers (ETPs), validation of qualifications, accreditation of learning programmes and recognition of Non- Credit Bearing Short Courses.

The Authority will train more experts in different sub-fields and domains to augment the current pool.

BQA also faces a challenge of misalignments of the acts- legislative changes have resulted in duplications and disharmony between the sectors of the economy and the authority.  This has led to dissatisfaction among some BQA stakeholders. According to Mosimakoko the authority will continue to engage the different stakeholders to address these challenges pending the review of the identified Acts.

Inadequate Financial Resources is another challenge facing the authority which impede them from adequately implementing its broad mandate, which affects implementation of the corporate strategy.

This, she promised that they will continue to explore alternative funding sources, prioritise projects and come up with effective cost saving measures. Other challenges include amongst others failure to meet turnaround times – mainly due to inadequate human resource, processes and standards.

The Authority continues to review its processes and criteria so that they are user friendly and efficient. The funding and establishment of an integrated ICT system (at P17 million) will greatly improve service delivery and data management.

Lastly Mosimakoko said there is a considerable number of applications that have not been paid for. The Authority has taken a decision to close and return applications which have not been paid for, 30 days after notification of client to pay.

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