BQA ordered to behave

Bame Piet
FILE PIC: Learners at a BQA stall

The Registrar and Master of the High Court has ordered the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) to desist from publishing statements revoking programmes offered by New Era College of Art, Science and Technology until the matter has been finalized in the courts.

This follows a Wednesday statement issued by BQA informing the public that it was in the process of revoking a total of six programmes offered by New Era College.

They are Barchelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics, Bachelor of Engineering (Hon) in Telecommunications, Diploma in Construction Engineering, Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, Diploma in Telecommunications Engineering.

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“The Ministry of Education and Skills Development is interdicted from transferring students admitted by New Era College of Art, Science and Technology for the aforesaid programmes for the academic year 2023/2024 to any other institution,” reads an order issued on Friday.

Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) have also responded with chagrin to a statement issued by BQA revoking their programmes of learning.

BQA said it was going to revoke the accreditation of three programmes at BIUST, two programmes from BUAN, and six programmes offered by New Era College of Art, Science and Technology.

“BIUST would like to make it categorically clear that it has been offering Bachelor of Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Bachelor of Engineering Materials and Metallurgical Engineering programmes since its inception and they are fully recognized by BQA following the transition arrangements from Tertiary Education Council (TEC) to BQA. Therefore, all students admitted at BIUST are assured of excellent and quality accredited academic programmes,” BIUST said in response.

BIUST said the accreditation process for its newly designed degree programmes is ongoing, in accordance with the BQA accreditation of learning programmes regulations (2016).

“All the newly developed Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree qualifications have been endorsed by ERB and registered by BQA on the National Credit Qualifications Framework (NCQF). The process of accrediting the learning programmes is ongoing”.

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BIUST further said they have been in touch with all stakeholders in the accreditation process.

“The BQA issued a dire misleading statement to the public, therefore ignore that inaccurate public notice about BIUST”.

Meanwhile, BUAN described the BQA statement as “unfortunate, inaccurate and regrettable, as it misleads the Public and Prospective students”.

The institution says its programmes of Master of Science (MSc) in Soil and Water Engineering, and Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agricultural Mechanisation are in good standing and not affected by the BQA statement.

“In the case of the two learning programmes, BUAN followed the necessary steps as guided by the BQA for accreditation of learning programmes, by first submitting the two qualifications to the Engineering Registration Board (ERB) for endorsement in 2021. Due process was carried out by the ERB and endorsement was done for the two qualifications.

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BQA and Ministry of Education have not responded to our enquiries and were not represented in the court case.

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