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Botswana Curriculum Framework (Basic Education)


Curriculum Philosophy and overall approach

In its document, Curriculum Programmes, the MoE describes its primary programme as emphasising the acquisition and application of ‘foundation skills’, particularly ‘communication, literacy and numeracy skills, the development of an awareness of the interrelationship between Science, Technology and Society and the acquisition of desirable skills and attributes’.

The components of Botswana’s Basic Education are listed in its Curriculum Framework as:

a. Foundation skills ‘applicable to work situations, such as decision-making and problem-solving, self-presentation, team-work and computing’, developed through ‘cross-curricular approaches’ and attention to processes as well as content

b. The vocational orientation of academic subjects which are to be ‘taught in such a way that they are related to the world of work’ and, where appropriate, applied to ‘various jobs’ that will be available to students on completion of basic education

c. Practical subjects to enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of technology, as well as developing manipulative skills and familiarity with tools, equipment and materials

d. Readiness for the world of work through both curricular (through, for example, the study of the subject Commerce) and cocurricular (such as structured visits to companies and simulated work or business activities.

e. Careers Guidance to assist them in identifying their own capacities and interests as well as understanding the labour market.

The general approach of Botswana’s Basic Education curriculum is therefore very strongly focused on the development of generic life and work competencies and skills through a range of curriculum design strategies. Botswana’s aims and objectives for Basic Education are founded firmly on a base of competency and skills development within a framework of personal growth and personal and social responsibility…

With regard to time allocations, considerable flexibility is afforded to schools in the primary levels – ‘To allow for provision of full experiences, schools will have to work out suitable timetables based on the current length of the school day. The number of periods per week in Junior Secondary is prescribed in Table 7, which reflects a general requirement for ‘the weighting among core subjects, optional subjects and Guidance and Counselling will approximately be 78%, 20% and 2% respectively’ (Curriculum Framework, p. 10).

Source: Georgescu, D. et al. 2008. Preparation for Life and Work. Comparative Study with a Focus on Basic (Primary and Lower Secondary) Education in Developing African Countries. GTZ, MBZ and UNESCO-IBE, Eschborn. (pp. 54.55)

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