Botswana Education

Botswana Education


The knowledge of the Tswana community has traditionally been passed on informally within the family. This has also happened in a more organized form when each age group has been admitted into the adult world. Schools in the European sense came with the mission during the latter half of the 19th century, often with strong support from local leaders. During this period, Botswana was a British protectorate and the education was characterized by a British role model. With independence in 1966, education became essentially a state and municipal concern. From a modest beginning in 1966, the education system today is well developed compared to most countries in Africa. More than 80% of the students complete the ten-year compulsory school, and about half also attend the two-year high school. After the first four years, English setswana replaced as a language of instruction. In 2006, fees were reintroduced from high school.

Botswana Schooling

Education has gradually been expanded and reformed. About 10% of the state budget is invested in the education sector. Priority is given to children and adolescents, while adult education is more modest. The country has its own university with a basic four-year education in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. The state offers scholarships for study abroad in areas not in the country.

However, despite the well-developed basic education there are problems. The quality of teaching varies widely between different parts of the country. One-eighth of the seven-year-olds do not start school, many drop out or go on a grade. Slightly more girls than boys start school, which is unusual compared to other countries. However, further up in the education system there is a shift to the boys’ advantage. Literacy among adults is just over 80%.

There is some vocational training, which includes the so-called brigades. These are a form of vocational training that combines education and productive work. The brigades have attracted international attention.

The education system is now almost entirely financed with Botswana’s own resources after a long period of support from various aid agencies, including Sida. However, the country is still dependent on foreign teachers, especially in technical and scientific subjects.

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