Rethinking Education & Other Social Institutions in Botswana

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Rethinking Education & other Social Institutions in Botswana : 

Rethinking Education & other Social Institutions in Botswana By Shirley Kelly Ph.D University of Wisconsin - Whitewater


AGENDA Brief Background Challenges & Effects on Social Institutions Economic Political Education Health Family Toqueville’s conclusions as framework for redesigning SI Recommendations (Please note when viewing slides that the main points are in black and supporting details in purple and blue)

Botswana : 

Botswana Emerging democracy Emancipated 1962 Vision 2016: propel its socio-economic and political development into a competitive, prosperous nation Challenges to its social institutions: 25.9%HIV Infection rate Green Movement Global competition

Economic Institutions : 

Economic Institutions Allocation and distribution of goods and services, financial assistance, recreation, & childcare Expenditures on the HIV crisis is weakening the economy. Expenditures rose from $69 million in 2001 to $165 million in 2005 (Zembowicz 2008). government cannot maintain the free ARV program in the foreseeable future. Long standing high GDP growth rate from mining diamonds, minerals, cattle ranching & tourism) fell from about 25% in the 1980’s to 2.95% in 2008

Economic Institutions contd. : 

Economic Institutions contd. 23.4% live below the poverty level and survive on pennies each day 30% unemployment rate (Mogalakwe 2008).. Foreigners control Botswana’s economy 78% of the government’s $134 billion USD expenditure from 2004 to 2006 awarded to foreign owned companies. Tourism dominated by large international companies 86% of tourism jobs & 56% of top level management jobs across all industries held by foreign workers.

Economic Institutions contd. : 

Economic Institutions contd. Large leakage of revenues from Botswana to more developed home countries of foreign entities question “sustainability” of development efforts Foreigners are paid salaries three times that of a local worker with equivalent education, training, skills, and experience. Foreigners earn 25% gratuity on total salary earned over the life of each contract, travel allowance, and education allowance for children Widen the financial and social ‘divide’ between local and foreign workers (Mogalakwe 2008).

World Commission on Environment & Sustainable Development : 

World Commission on Environment & Sustainable Development Mining causes degradation of world’s natural resources Disturbance of the land Destruction of fragile ecosystems Reduced biodiversity in mining areas Changes in natural migratory patterns of wildlife and has reduction in their numbers due to fencing used in cattle farming (Gonzalez 2008). Pollution of the environment from fossil fuel emissions: acid rain, noise, & dust, contamination of ground water released minerals and metals Manage natural resources so they provide benefit for current and future generations aka sustainable development

Political Institutions : 

Political Institutions Establish public social goals and values through its social policies. Politically stable over the past 4 decades (Acemoglu, et al. 2001 and Iimi 2006). 15 member House of Chiefs reflect a pre-colonial culture of consensus-based decision-making upheld by constitution & advises Government on cultural issues. 8 hereditary chiefs from principal tribes & 7 elected members; Used in customary courts where legal representation is not allowed. Efforts to include women and ethnic minorities in the HOC Chiefs via electoral process (Gonzalez 2008).

2009 ElectionsPopulation = 1.99 M Registered Voters = 552 KVoter Turnout = 421 K (76.2%) : 

2009 ElectionsPopulation = 1.99 M Registered Voters = 552 KVoter Turnout = 421 K (76.2%)

Political Institutions : 

Political Institutions Government policies promote fair treatment of citizens living with HIV. all government business partners and subcontractors had to implement a nondiscrimination policy toward current and prospective HIV positive employees and provide an HIV educational program for employees However, growing concern that the financial and social divide between locals and foreigners may be a politically destabilizing force in the future. (5 mins)

Educational Institutions : 

Educational Institutions Prepare and socialize citizens for productive participatory citizenship 8% of the GDP spent on education Teaching quality is poor and getting poorer deaths of thousands of Batswana decreases the supply of teachers, drives up the cost of education reduce the educational requirements of teachers to meet demand Graduates lack the knowledge and skills required to assume job opportunities created its economic growth and structural changes

Educational Institutions : 

Educational Institutions No public pre-school. Only 3% attend private pre-school Majority of non-preschoolers are not emotionally nor cognitively prepared for grade 1 Less sociable than their peers, kept to themselves, cried and urinated in class, desired to go home, disliked school, were afraid of the school environment, and were bullied by peers Grade 1 teachers found it difficult to manage the classroom behaviors of the non-preschoolers training programs (Bigala, et al. 1993).

Educational Institutions : 

Educational Institutions Needs of students with special needs not met in the classroom therefore absenteeism high among them Difficult for children in poverty to obtain a proper education they go to school hungry and in dirty and torn clothes. In urban areas, street children roam the school campus harassing students and sniffing glue.

Health Institutions : 

Health Institutions Promote health and healing of citizen Ministry of Health would like to see a 0% infection rate by 2016. Over 300,000 people living with HIV 9 years after launching an ARV expensive program to combat AIDS among pregnant women 33.7% were HIV infected in 2007 11,000 died of HIV in 2007 Lowered life expectancy from 58 years to 49 years Increasing number of health care workers affected by HIV making it unattractive profession for locals

Health Institutions : 

Health Institutions Collaborative efforts between public and private sectors, foreign governments, foreign pharmaceutical companies, and non-governmental organizations such as The Merck Pharmaceutical Company, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation & the De Beers Company: Free national ARV programs including the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program that offers anti-retroviral medication (ARV) to infected pregnant women and newborns to protect their babies from contracting the deadly disease. Educational programs, Construction of modern hospitals Mandatory HIV screening.

Family Institutions : 

Family Institutions Procreation and regulation of sexual norms, provide day care, foster care, adoption, counselling Many families are losing their income earners and reduced earning capacity to care for loved ones. 95,000 AIDS orphans at end of 2007. Large number of orphans with psychosocial distress stemming from loss of parental love and nurture, grief, anxiety, depression, and separation of siblings among relatives to spread the economic burden of their care.” (Richter 2004 : 13) Small circle of close family and friends attended funerals Large funerals with public outpouring of love and compassion with mobile toilets

Family Institutions : 

Family Institutions Male and female roles in sexual decisions, tribal sexual education, and attitudes towards traditional vs modern medicine help to maintain high HIV transmission rates. Botswana males label their female partners as prostitutes if they initiate protected sex. Males also do not trust condoms. They hold false beliefs that lubricant in condoms contains the AIDS virus and unprotected sex with young girls provides cleansing, healing, and spiritual powers. Women comply with their male partner’s desire to engage in unprotected sex because they believe they have an obligation to satisfy him sexually in compensation for providing sustenance for the family.


GRANDMOTHERS Regarded as gurus in sex education. School menarche young women in traditional preventative medicine they learn about “curative herbal remedies for sexually related health problems and ailments” (Nseane and Preece 2005). Hold cultural progeny values to carry on the family lineage that promote the spread of HIV. Pressure unwed granddaughters past marital age to have a child, so that they can “see a grandchild before they pass on”. Granddaughters comply and contract HIV. Toqueville's "Democracy in America" provides a lens to understand the direction of changes in social institutions in Botswana.

Tocqueville : 

Tocqueville Toured America 1831-1833 to understand & explain the causes, existence, and success of a democratic republic that began July 4, 1776 with its independence. Compared America to South America and French Canada Recorded his observations and conclusion in the book “Democracy in America” (1835)

Tocqueville’s Conclusions : 

Tocqueville’s Conclusions Education, Politics, and the Customs/Mores of the people are the key success factors for a stable democracy “The instruction of the people powerfully contributes to the support of the democratic republic; and such must always be the case, I believe, where the instruction which enlightens the understanding is not separated from the moral education which amends the heart” Development is facilitated by the rapid dissemination of information

Tocqueville’s conclusions for a stable Democracy : 

Tocqueville’s conclusions for a stable Democracy Change should be gradual Educate all citizens about the ideas and sentiments which first prepare them for freedom: Citizens should be knowledgeable about the political process of their land. their rights & the means to exercise them rules of the administration, laws of the land

Customs/ Mores of the People : 

Customs/ Mores of the People Enlightened & Conscious of the Utility of education. Use education to achieve prosperity Willingness to pursue greater prosperity even if it dictates relinquishing one’s material comforts and moving to a harsher environment. Willingness to adapt and perfect the ideas and inventions of other nations to suit the needs of their country. Place high value on freedom fought for and won Actively participates in legislative and governing activities of his country (10 mins)

Recommendations : 

Recommendations Gradual change is needed to transform Botswana A new educational curriculum from pre-school years onwards can provide such incremental change. Empower citizens for active participation and contribution to Botswana’s economy and political structures. Citizens should not only vote, they need to be formally educated about the political process of their land such as: their rights & the means to exercise them rules of the administration, laws of the land

New Educational Curriculum : 

New Educational Curriculum Prepare students with the skills needed to assume jobs created by Botswana’s economy i.e., good verbal communication skills, interpersonal skills, collaborative team building skills, problem solving skills, conflict resolution skills, creativity, versatility, innovativeness, critical thinking, flexibility, and technological competence Help students develop workplace knowledge and skills through apprenticeships and internships. Utilize technology in design and delivery of educational programs so students refine their technological skills and promote rapid dissemination of information.

New Educational Curriculum : 

New Educational Curriculum Provide parentless Batswana children with the supportive, caring, and collaborative relationships they need in order to develop resiliency to overcome their psychological scars – Tribes Learning Communities Promote a Multiple Intelligence Curriculumm so each child has opportunity to optimally develop their unique talents and strengths Design and deliver the curriculum in a manner that makes the transition from home to school an enjoyable experience Teach students to value the environment and how to protect it the environment for future generations.

New Health Education Curriculum : 

New Health Education Curriculum Instruct all major stakeholders of the educational system (students, parents, educators, school administrators and the community at large) about cultural factors that promote the spread HIV. Promote safer practices that prevent the spread of HIV Engage key male sex decision makers, and cultural sex educators in the development and delivery of the curriculum and programs to prevent the spread of HIV.

New Business Education Curriculum : 

New Business Education Curriculum Promote entrepreneurship & Creativty “Creativity is a highly valued skill that promotes “the development of new products, services, business activities, and opportunities for sustainable social and economic change that are of significant value to citizens, consumers, producers and institution” (Mudra Institute of Communications 2008). Help reduce high unemployment rates by providing more job opportunities Increase money circulation in the Batswana economy. Reduce poverty

Conclusion : 

Conclusion "Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow" - Robert Kiyosaki Secret to solving the problems facing Botswana lie in enlightening its people and gradually helping them develop the knowledge, skills, customs, and mores needed to transform what they currently do to more enlightened practices that will help achieve Vision 2016. Onus is on the government to establish the policies and supports needed to transform its people into functional individuals actively engaged in the educational, political, and economical activities to achieve Vision 2016.

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