The Botswana Teacher Professionals Council (BOTEPCO) organised a stakeholder engagement event for teachers in Francistown recently, aiming to enlighten educators about BOTEPCO’s mission, objectives, and advantages.
The event addressed various topics and was conducted at two separate venues, Clifton English Medium School for private school teachers and Francistown Institution of Health Sciences for public school teachers.
Subjects covered during the session included teacher registration and licensing, teacher professional standards, code of ethics, and professional development opportunities.
Dr. Moses Mengwe, Chairperson of BOTEPCO, emphasised that the council’s mission is to promote professionalism among teachers, extending beyond mere certification. He outlined BOTEPCO’s four primary objectives: the development of teacher professional standards, the establishment of a code of conduct for teachers, the provision of professional development courses, and the implementation of a teacher registration and licensing system.
Representing the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Tiroyaone Rantung expressed support for BOTEPCO and encouraged teachers to embrace the council as their representative body. He commended BOTEPCO’s focus on ethics and professionalism within the teaching profession.
Dr. Raphael Dingalo, the founding director of BOTEPCO, clarified the council’s mandate, emphasising its role in regulating the teaching profession. The council’s mission is to ensure that only qualified and licensed teachers practice in Botswana. Licensing will enable the council to oversee and discipline teachers who breach the code of ethics or engage in criminal activities such as child molestation.
Dr. Dingalo also highlighted that the licensing system will help identify and remove fake teachers who use forged qualifications to secure teaching positions. He revealed plans to implement the licensing system in the upcoming financial year. Citizens will receive a five-year license, while foreigners will obtain a three-year license, and student teachers will be eligible for a special license.