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Botswana

Teaching Profession

Two years after Botswana gained its independence, there were 1,791 primary level teachers, but 1,114 of these were not certified teachers. By 1985 the number of primary level teachers had increased to 6,980, and 74.3 percent were certified. The percentage of certified primary teachers has continued to increase. In 1993, about 83 percent of the 11,190 primary level teachers were certified. This trend is also found at the secondary level. In 1985 there were 1,368 secondary teachers; 72.3 percent of these were certified. In 1993 there were 4,391 secondary teachers; 81.9 percent of these were certified.

In 1985, about 77 percent of the primary level teachers were female. Of these, 21 percent were not certified. In 1993, about 76 percent of the primary teachers were female, but the percentage of uncertified female teachers decreased to 9.0 percent. That same year 8.0 percent of the male primary teachers were not certified. In 1985, about 43 percent of the 1,368 secondary teachers were female; 13.0 percent of these were not certified. That same year 14.0 percent of the male secondary teachers were not certified. In 1993, about 42 percent of the 4,391 secondary teachers were female. That year only 9.0 percent of male and female teachers were not certified.

Botswana has four primary level and two secondary level colleges of education. With the exception of the Botswana College of Agriculture, which has its own teacher-training program, all of the teacher training institutions (TEIs) are affiliated with the University of Botswana. The University has a mandate from the Ministry of Education to oversee the maintenance of academic and professional standards of diplomas and certificates for which students in the TEIs are prepared. Boards and committees systematically consult and participate in the decision-making process between the university and the ministry. The TEIs are provided with advice, guidance, technical, and qualitative capacities. Therefore, all teachers are trained in programs validated by the University. The University has the authority to implement whatever is necessary to achieve universal education; however, Botswana's government controls all funding.

African tradition dictates strict divisions of responsibility and positions of authority. Females have lower status than males. Males dominate the University of Botswana's Faculty of Education. It is only in the primary level colleges that the majority of lecturers and heads of departments are women. Male department heads lead in those areas traditionally seen as the responsibility of males, such as engineering and technology. Female department heads lead in areas such as primary, home economics, and nursing education.

Policy makers at the Ministry of Education are aware of hierarchies and gender inequities within the University and the TEIs. To address these problems, the University of Botswana established the Department of Primary Education, which, since 1980, has offered diploma courses to primary school teachers in order to replace expatriate lecturers in the TEIs. Enrollment in the University's Master's of Education program increases every year. In 1994 the government upgraded the primary level teachers colleges by phasing out the certificate program and replacing it with a diploma. In 1990 the Faculty of Education established the Gender and Education Committee (GEC), which is committed to encourage and support gender reform within the University as well as in schools and in the Ministry of Education. The University of Botswana is the only education establishment in the country with a gender policy.


Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceBotswana - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education