How Botswana Guarantees Free Education for All Children

When Botswana gained its independence from Britain in 1966, it was the third poorest nation on the earth. It had minimal infrastructure, only a few paved roads and virtually an entire void of formal schooling. On the time, Botswana had solely 22 college graduates and 100 secondary college graduates. The nation’s founding president, Sir Seretse Khama made it his mission to construct a authorities with strict anti-corruption practices and an formidable financial improvement program centered across the nation’s sources of beef, copper and diamonds.

Below Khama’s management, Botswana had the quickest rising financial system on the earth from 1960 to 1980, primarily pushed by mining. He made positive the revenues have been reinvested into Botswana’s financial system, increasing infrastructure, healthcare and schooling. Botswana now has the best GDP per capita in all of continental Africa. The diamond business accounts for 40 % of the nation’s GDP and 90 % of its exports. Each youngster in Botswana is assured a free major and secondary college schooling sponsored by the federal government.

Livingstone Home Main College College students

Botswana’s diamond business has made schooling a prime precedence along side the federal government. All diamond mining operates below a licensing settlement with the federal government through which 80 % of diamond-related revenues are put again into the nation’s financial system. Debswana, a 50/50 three way partnership between De Beers and the federal government of Botswana, runs 4 major faculties surrounding the Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa mining communities and mining revenues assist fund greater than 300 different faculties within the nation. Tuition for youngsters of mine workers is generously sponsored. The Pure Diamond Council’s International Ambassador Lily James witnessed the influence first-hand during a recent trip to Botswana, which included a cease on the The Livingstone Home Main College.

The Livingstone Home Main College, an elementary college with a scholar physique of 600, ages 6 to 13, is likely one of the 4 faculties run by Debswana in Orapa. Emily Mompe was a former scholar on the college and now teaches third grade there. “Once I consider Orapa within the 80s versus what now we have presently, it’s a type of issues that you must reside right here to imagine it,” she stated of the event within the space. “We used to have bumpy roads and now, after all, paved roads. We used to have a clinic the scale of a three-bedroom home and now it’s a hospital. We had no secondary college in my day, now now we have two junior secondary faculties and a senior secondary college.” 

Livingstone Home Main College trainer Emily Mompe.

The Orapa Faculties’ motto is “Deeds not phrases,” that means the curriculum is devoted not simply to dictating ideas within the classroom however placing them into follow and making a residing tradition. “We aren’t simply involved with lecturers,” stated Mompe. “We need to present for an entire youngster.”

The colleges base their curriculum on that of the Botswana Ministry of Schooling and Expertise Growth. There are six required topics — English, Setswana, arithmetic, science, social research, spiritual and ethical schooling, and agriculture — on which all pupils are examined of their closing yr, Commonplace 7, through the Main College Leaving Examinations. However past the core curriculum, the Debswana faculties encourage college students to discover music, computer systems/IT, bodily schooling, design and expertise, and remedial and library research. Every college has a particular schooling unit to help college students with studying variations.

Lily James with Livingstone Home Main College college students and trainer Emily Mompe.

After college applications are important too. The Livingston College has a swimming pool that’s heated so the children can take swimming classes year-round. The athletic and humanities applications are provided to all college students and embody tennis, cricket, soccer, netball, cross-country and chess. Music performs an important function on the faculties, and emphasis is positioned on studying to play numerous devices, together with melodicas, recorders, marimbas and metal drums. Central to Debswana’s faculties’ mission is sustaining a degree of schooling that’s on par with worldwide excellence. It celebrates and explores Botswana’s native heritage but additionally exposes every youngster to worldwide cultural norms.

The function the diamond business performs in Botswana’s schooling can’t be underestimated. To that time, Debswana’s college logos are designed with a diamond form at its core, symbolizing the significance of the pure useful resource to the financial system, and likewise the usual of excellence to which the college strives.

Lily James and Livingstone Home Main College trainer Emily Mompe.

“Our tradition in Botswana is about ubuntu —we share every part,” stated Pat Dambe, Vice President of Market Outreach at De Beers Group, who grew up in Botswana and accomplished a lot of her college schooling on scholarships offered by De Beers. “With out diamonds, we wouldn’t have a rustic. There’s the brilliance of a diamond, and there’s the livelihood we’ve created from it. I’ve schooling. The typical particular person you’ve spoken to has schooling, has a middle-class existence, thinks about their youngsters going to highschool, and has a home over their head. That’s very a lot a results of diamonds and the group atmosphere they’ve created.”

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