The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Promoting Lifelong Learning in Botswana

The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Promoting Lifelong Learning in Botswana

Dama Mosweunyane (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8134-5.ch011
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This chapter discusses the role non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play within Botswana. It states that NGOs are useful instruments for learning generally, but particularly they serve as vehicles for lifelong learning. The chapter highlights the fact that NGOs have established the earliest schools in Botswana. However, when it was found that schools alone were not enough to take on the challenges of a Botswana that was growing more complex by the day, NGOs began to complement school learning with specialized training in centers for vocational and professional development. The Government of Botswana came to support NGOs through the development of an NGO policy whose aim is to forge a closer government-NGO cooperation in the promotion of lifelong learning in the country.
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Botswana is a country in Southern Africa that obtained its political independence in 1966 from the British. At the time of its independence, Botswana was amongst the poorest countries in Africa which at the time, relied on efforts of different stakeholders including NGOs, for its development. However, as a result of the discovery of diamonds, Botswana has been transformed from one of the poorest economies into a middle income economy. According to NCSCA (2002) the performance of the Botswana economy has developed from amongst the poorest in the world to the current classification of the upper middle income country. It will be disingenuous to ignore the contributions that the country received from other countries and other actors, such as NGOs. At independence, religious institutions contributed to the educational sectors by building the schools that have provided quality education to the citizens. The Roman Catholic Church built schools such as Mater Spei and St Joseph colleges in Gaborone and Francistown. Both Gaborone and Francistown are cities in the southern and northern sides of Botswana.

The country still has both local and international NGOs that play some important roles in its economic, social and political development activities including churches, which are non-state actors. The most notable contribution that is made by NGOs in both urban and rural areas in Botswana, is the provision of opportunities for learning to the ever growing population of urban residents of all ages. A good example is that of Botswana Council of Churches (BCC), which provides biblical and entrepreneurial lessons to the people of Etsha villages in the northern side of the country. The training of learners throughout their lives has taken center stage amongst most NGOs because of the need to parsimoniously utilize resources that are demanded by the people in towns, cities and rural areas, so as to meet the needs of the latter. This chapter is intended to discuss the role of NGOs in promoting lifelong learning in the towns, cities and rural areas of Botswana. According to Walters (2001) lifelong learning refers to the totality of learning activities that occur in formal, non-formal and informal contexts.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Political: It means a process relating to how power is acquired and utilized in a country or in a given society, which is manifested through decision making, policy making and governance.

Technological Contributions: It is the form of technical advancement that is added to a country or community through the use of sophisticated machinery in the industries and through communication systems.

Rural Development: It refers to the process that leads to the economic, political, social and technological amelioration of the living conditions of people, who live in relatively underdeveloped areas that in most instances are sparsely populated.

Developing Countries: Countries with relatively low infrastructural and technological development. These countries are usually found in the Global South.

Economic Contributions: Business or industrial events that add value to the performance of countries, which is reflected on their gross domestic products (GDP), index standard of living, industrialization, and production of goods. The industrialized countries have numerous and sophisticated ways that contribute to their economies.

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