Our government, the state and everyone else keep wondering why the Education system utilised in Botswana is failing the children. This is not a minor issue as far as we are concerned; a lot of to and fro complaints have been raised between principals-teachers-students and the ministry of Education. A lot of finger pointing had transpired as to whether the poor academic performance in our country is due to lack of motivation and dedication to education by students or deprivation of parent’s involvement in the children’s Education.

Ever since being placed in the school at the tender age of five kids have been told they are being prepared for the real world, however it’s very sad that once they get into secondary schools that real world preparation is already gone. Why? Because all they are being taught is Historical concepts and many other irrelevant things which they’ll never use in the “so called real world”. This system is designed to enslave students.

The system of standardised testing is failing our kids in a sense that more tests, more homework and more time spent in the school only to focus on historical lives. This system is industrialised and it creates slaves not smart people. The Students don’t have right to life anymore, the system tells them how to live it, how to dress, when to eat, when to go to the bathroom and when to grow facial hair, they do not have liberty to stay home and relax as they please, Students do not have the right to the pursuits of happiness if they were involved in the system.

Our education system is stressful to Children, Being forced to stay in the same class for 8 hours a day, for 10 months, for 12 Years up to 20 years just for grades. Instead of nourishing them with inspiration we feedstuff them information with a mentality that accept as true that sitting a child in front of the chalk board for elongated time will innovate a new world one day. Really?

It is an error to use a system of the 18th century for the time that we live in, we already have information, infinite knowledge and technology in the palm of our hands, its high time we upgrade our education system. Ask students how they want to learn instead of telling them how to learn? The best learning is done by experience not solely by a pen, book and paper, it’s time the government changes the foundation of these communities.

Apparently this out-dated education system causes education to lose its essence since students do not go to school to learn; as an alternative they go to school because they have to go to school. For how long are we going to continue measuring education using letters and numbers on a sheet of paper? We need a new system that will shift our focus away from grades. One of my favourite physicists Neil de Grasse once said …“When students cheat on exams it’s because our school system values grades more than students’ value learning…”

Subsequently all the things they memorised at school will never be used, all the good grades will never be used; even the degrees are impractical to an extent where they end up in the streets. Now the question is who is getting the profit here? “#CollegeOwners of which 95% of them happen to be executives of the federal government”.

One more thing, “Hao bona Go sena nko e tswang lemina” in our education system is because approximately 90% of the schools in our state are public schools and only 10% are private schools, Public schools obviously are for the “HAVE NOTS” whereas estate schools are for the “VIOLENTLY RICH” People who mostly are top state officials and a few middle income people. This causes an imbalance in our country’s education but education is supposed to be an equalizer here.

To bridge this big gap only 0.5% of kids from the “HAVE NOTS” category have the opportunity to do A-levels through top achiever thingy. I believe A-levels should be a package within basic progressive Education which every student who pass their BGCSE’s should have a guarantee to. Educating eager people is not a waste after all besides we have a pint-sized population.

A-Levels have an internationally acknowledged importance compared to BGCSEs therefore kids from bad-socio-economic backgrounds if guaranteed A levels  they will also have more success chances similar to kids of top state officials because A-levels makes one qualified and proficient enough for a lot of universities and scholarships across the world. This imbalance between the rich and the poor kids in high school completion is the most important predictor of success in the work force.

Long term ramification of a two torn education system in which students in wealthy backgrounds have a high quality education and student from less affluent communities have poor education affects the economy in a sense that most students who enter university without being polished via A levels end up having difficulties in learning preliminary concepts for university level such as Calculus, Engineering geometry and computing when starting B.Sc. or any other prestigious Majors like Economics which requires Radical indulgence, And chances for drop outs due to failure become preordained. Then it becomes the responsibility of the federal government to fund those students again.

What is very funny is the minute students (minor schools to tertiary) drop-out due to academic failure, the only thing our society and politicians assume is that the students were reluctant to do their school work disregarding other factors. Yes we know that most of the time people who fail are lazy bums’ however in tertiary schools of Botswana it’s different. Even Intelligent, hardworking and disciplined students do fail too, not because they were lazy or misbehaving.

The reason is very simple our system is very stressful to students, it conflicts with their mental well-being and this has brought more harm than good. I had looked through several calendars for academic year in some Local universities especially BIUST and the way it is structured is very unhealthy, it does not cater for mental moderation of a student .That is why very often we see reports in tabloids about lectures who take advantage of this system and molest kids for marks. It’s because they are aware that with our stressful education system the chances of failure are high and as far as students fear the embarrassment of (Fail and Discontinue) some end up surviving failure by being robbed their dignity. Does that give Education essence? Big No.

Finland had an education system that was completely falling apart just like ours, they were doing standardized testing and they found out that students weren’t achieving very much. They became worried as a government which cares for its state and decided they need an overall of what they are doing. Guess what? They got rid of all private schools and as a result there was much more investment in public education. Suddenly everybody began to achieve great things. As we speak Finland’s education system is ranked fifth in the entire Globe….don’t you think that if adopted, this model can benefit us (Botswana) as a State?

Dont shoot me

Lesego Montsho

Top ten best ranked Education systems in the world which we can learn from

1.) South Korea 2) Singapore 3) Japan   4).Hong Kong 5). Finland 6). Canada 7). United Kingdom 8).Netherlands 9). Ireland 10). Poland


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