Education in Botswana Remains Stellar

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Botswana is a Sub-Saharan African nation of approximately 2.1 million people. With an adult literacy rate of 85.1 percent, the country continually demonstrates that education is a priority.

Investing in Education

Education in Botswana is free for all students and is significantly represented in the national budget. The former education policy, Education for Kagisano (Social Harmony), was reevaluated in the early 1990s to address socioeconomic disparities. The Revised National Policy for Education then provided significant funding for the educational system. Between 1994 and 1995, the Ministry of Education—which oversees all educational programs within the nation—received 10 percent of all government funding. This provided resources to train qualified teachers, improve facilities, write textbooks and develop a diversified curriculum.

A Personalized Approach from Start to Finish

In Botswana, primary education, the first seven years of school, are especially emphasized. At this stage, the student-to-teacher ratio within the nation is approximately 13 to 1, providing the capacity for students’ individualized needs to be met. In 2008-2009, 331,000 students were enrolled in primary education.

Higher education in Botswana also plays a crucial role in the experiences of thousands of students. The University of Botswana, which opened in 1964, offers certificates, and bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. Its 17,000 students have the opportunity to study across a wide range of fields, including business, education, engineering, health and social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and medicine Students also have the unique chance to pursue high levels of research through the university’s research and development program.

Reaching for Educational Stars

Though its rankings are lower than other upper middle income countries, Botswana’s emphasis on education has generated positive results. In lower secondary school, 92 percent of all female students and 88 percent of male students are enrolled. Students aged 15-24 demonstrate literacy at 98 percent for females and 94 percent for males.

Botswana generally ranks higher in numerous educational categories compared with other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and is continuing its collaborative strategies to help its students reach new heights.

Emily Chazen
Photo: Flickr

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