The rise and attenuation of the basic education programme (BEP) in Botswana: A global–local dialectic approach
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 31, Number 5, ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Using a global–local dialectic approach, this paper traces the rise of the basic education programme in the 1980s and 1990s in Botswana and its subsequent attenuation in the 2000s. Amongst the local forces that led to the rise of BEP were Botswana's political project of nation-building; the country's dire human resources situation in the decades following Independence in 1966; and its propitious economic climate in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Global forces included the global circulation of the World Bank's educational discourse on the primacy of primary education as a public ‘investment’ option and Botswana's desire to be a member of the influential transnational social structure. BEP's attenuation can similarly be traced back to both local and global forces. Local forces included the growth of youth unemployment, and a sluggish economy. Global forces included the globalization of neo-liberalism which called for cost-sharing/recovery measures, and, ironically, Botswana's ‘promotion’ to a ‘middle income status’ country. While conceptually the attenuation represents a case of policy reversal and in some ways a sense of ‘loss’, empirically, the attenuation has not been of material consequence to access to ‘basic’ education. This is attributed to the ambiguous position (best captured by the term ‘doublethink’) the Botswana government has adopted in relation to the issue of school fees.
Tabulawa, R. (2011). The rise and attenuation of the basic education programme (BEP) in Botswana: A global–local dialectic approach. International Journal of Educational Development, 31(5), 427-436. Elsevier Ltd.