Gaborone — The newly-launched Botswana Teaching Professionals Council (BOTECO) has a mammoth task of transforming the profession by facilitating setting of practice standards.
This was said by Minister of Basic Education Mr Fidelis Molao when launching the regulatory body's 15-member board in Gaborone yesterday.
Mr Molao said formation of the board came at an opportune time to regulate the teaching profession, maintain professional and ethical standards, license teachers as well as establish, publish, review and maintain a code of ethics for educators.
For a long time, he said, the teaching profession had been characterised by lack of entry academic and professional competence standards.
The state of affairs had resulted not only in the decline of academic performance at basic education level but also in rising incidents of unethical conduct among teachers, Minister Molao said.
"It is the role of BOTECO to ensure that teachers are not only professionally competent but should be committed to the highest ethical standards and possess positive social values characteristic of the Setswana culture and traditions," he stated.
Mr Molao described BOTECO's launching as a major milestone in improving the teaching profession and taking it to its rightful position.
In addition, he said the launch was a big achievement in enhancing educational outcomes as envisaged in the Education and Strategic Plan 2015-2020 which aimed to provide an overall educational policy and strategic sector framework.
Mr Molao said the role of the teaching profession could not be overlooked in ensuring the realisation of Vision 2036 pillar on human and social development.
Botswana's vision of becoming a knowledge-based society was premised on the teacher's knowledge, skills and attitude to develop a learner who would contribute to a thriving economy, he said.
He noted that the 1994 Revised National Policy on Education called for enhancement of teachers' status and their motivation making it clear that as agents of curriculum implementation, they were central to the education system.
The minister said the board was expected to develop and recommend regulations to the ministry on provisions of the Botswana Teaching Professionals Council Act.
He encouraged the board to work as a collective and act responsibly towards employees, stakeholders and society as a whole.
The council is chaired by Ms Selang Mogatwane. BOPA
Source : BOPA