Factors Enhancing Basic Education: Implication on Pupils' Capability in Botswana Primary and Junior Secondary Schools

By Mphale, Luke Moloko | Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, April 2014 | Go to article overview

Factors Enhancing Basic Education: Implication on Pupils' Capability in Botswana Primary and Junior Secondary Schools


Mphale, Luke Moloko, Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies


Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate factors enhancing basic education and their implication for primary and junior secondary schools pupils in Botswana. The study was mainly a descriptive survey design. Three research questions and one null hypothesis guided the study. Data were collected through individual 13-item structured questionnaire which was validated. The reliability level was 0.7 using Cronbach Alpha Statistic. Random sampling was used to select the participants. The sample comprised hundred and thirty teachers from primary schools and seventy teachers from junior secondary schools. Data were analysed using frequency tables and percentages. The findings of the study showed that learning environment and teacher education have a positive impact on the provision of quality basic education. Based on the findings of the study it was recommended that for Botswana to achieve some of the Millennium Development Goals priority should be given to better learning environment and quality teacher education.

Keywords: basic education, teacher education, professional development, Botswana.

INTRODUCTION

In the past few decades the world experienced drastic changes in terms of political and the socio-economic developments. The changes affected the status of human development. Some of the social services such as health and education were improved to align with the living standard. After the inception of Education for All, countries around the globe developed Millennium Development Goals. One of their mandates was to provide universal basic education by 2015. To achieve this, changes in education systems took place which affected the teaching and learning in schools. New education policies were introduced which changed the operations and the roles of primary and junior secondary schools in their provision of education. The roles support the basic education goals of supporting the development of pupils as human beings, and their growth into ethically responsible members of society, and the promotion of learning and equality in society (Rovaniemi, 2006). The task of basic education encompasses education for early childhood, primary, youth, adults and secondary school students in many developing countries.

BASIC EDUCATION

The description of basic education as understood by nations was initiated by what transpired during the World Conference on Education for All held in Jomtein, Thailand in 1990. Basic education was described as one intended to meet basic learning needs which include instruction at the first or foundation level, on which subsequent learning can be based. It encompasses early childhood and primary education for children, as well as education in literacy, general knowledge and life skills for youth and adults; it may extend into secondary education in some countries (Inter-Agency Commission, 1990).

Based on the above definition countries and educationists came up with their understanding of basic education. Rovaniemi (2006) describes basic education as the whole range of educational activities taking place in various settings that aim at meeting basic learning needs. According to Botswana's education system basic education is one that fosters intellectual growth and creativity. It further enables every citizen to achieve his/her potential; develops moral, ethical; and social values (Republic of Botswana, 1994). It comprises pre-primary education, adult literacy programmes and primary education (first stage of basic education) and lower secondary education (second stage). It is seen as that education which prepares Batswana for the real life.

Therefore, it can be argued that basic education is any educational activity that takes place either formally, informally and non-formally. The learner could be an infant, a youth and an adult. The objectives of basic education are to promote learning and acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes. They are able to promote the principles of national development, sustained development, rapid economic growth, economic dependence, social justice and a desire for continued learning. …

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