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The Botswana Teaching Professional’s Council (BOTEPCO), a newly teaching regulatory body has kick started a process to professionalise the profession.
BOTEPCO is mandated to regulate the teaching profession, maintain professional and ethical standards for teachers, licensing teachers, maintain a register of teachers, establish, publish, review and maintain a code of ethics and advocate for the teaching profession.
The organisation this week held an inaugural introductory briefing engagement with the teaching fraternity in the North West Region under the theme “connecting BOTEPCO with the teaching fraternity.”
Speaking at the event, BOTEPCO’s Registrar Dr Raphael Dingalo noted that there is a declining respect for the teaching profession hence they are working to professionalise it.
“We want to see our profession, professionalised,” Dingalo said adding that they have been engaging with the education ministry on how to improve the conditions of the teaching services some of which he said include maintaining professional and ethical standards for teaching.
Dingalo revealed that they are also working on the modalities that would guide the process of registration, licensing of teachers, teaching standards and a code of ethics for teachers.
Dingalo said though it takes time to set up and develop the system that is also expensive they are however planning to commence the operations in April next year.
According to him, the BOTEPCO Act No. 22 of 2019, states that a person shall not be employed or practice as a teacher unless they have been registered with the council and had been issued with a teaching license. The act further states that a person who practice teaching without a license commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding P5 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or both.
Explaining the registration process, he said an application for registration would be made to the council in the prescribed form, accompanied by a fee and relevant documentation and information.
Once successfully registered, a teaching license will be issued and shall be valid for a period not exceeding 36 months, from the date of registration, for a non-citizen and for a period not exceeding 60 months, from the date of registration, for a citizen.
For her part, the Educational Director for the North West Region Veronica Mochotlhi said their motto is to deliver the 21st century learner and for this to be achieved, a lot has to happen on the ground. She added that the 21st century learner means having learners and teachers who are responsive to current trends as well as having professional teachers.
She added that the engagement with the teaching professional council is one of the milestones that show that they are on the right track where the teaching professional council connects with the teaching fraternity to assure quality education. Mochotlhi emphasized that the main issue is providing quality education and the amendments of operations by BOTEPCO shows that they are on the right track to quality education.
Meanwhile, the Botswana Teachers ‘Union Representative Innocent Puso applauded BOTEPCO for being on the right track as they have always promised to involve relevant stakeholders. He noted that being involved as the teaching fraternity will give them the opportunity to understand what BOTEPCO is all about.
As teaching will be professionalised and regulated, Puso advised the teaching fraternity not to fear any changes instead to embrace them assuring them that BOTEPCO has clear intentions.