An evaluation of the implementation of the language in-education policy in Botswana primary schools
Mokibelo, Eureka B.
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This study evaluated the implementation of the language-in-education policy (LiEP) in six ethno-lingual diverse primary schools of Botswana. The study was motivated by the fact that Botswana recognises two languages of instruction despite the fact that she is a multilingual state with about twenty eight indigenous languages. Applying the qualitative approach and its research techniques such as the open ended questionnaires, classroom observations, interviews and field notes, the study assessed and evaluated the views of the teachers and school management as key policy implementers. It also examined the implementation strategies used, explored the problems encountered and established solutions to the problems encountered. The study was guided by two related concepts that formed its conceptual framework: bilingual education models and constructivist learning theory. These concepts addressed both the classroom and administrative practices that affected teachers and learners in the classrooms and the relationship between teachers and school management at different levels. Both the models and theory challenged the teachers, learners and school management expected roles and responsibilities in the classrooms as well as in the implementation process. The conceptual framework ran parallel with the classroom and administrative practices. Analysis of fieldwork revealed that the LiEP was not adhered to for different reasons in both rural and urban primary schools. An in-depth analysis revealed that there was the universalisation of the policy, culturally insensitive pedagogy; problems with assimilative policy and the necessity for an inclusive multilingual policy. The results imply making further investigations into what extent are teachers bilinguals for them to promote bilingualism and how effective are the interventional strategies employed to address communication problems. The study concluded that there was a need to review the LiEP to accommodate home languages.
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