World Bank Country Representative for Botswana, Xavier Furtado said they are committed and ready to support reforms on education and learning in Botswana.
This follows the 2018 World Development Report which indicates that countries should not only try to provide education but should consider ways to generate return on investment and skills development.
The report highlights that, even after several years in school, millions of children are unable to read, write or do basic math. “Without these skills, students around the world are being denied opportunities to lead healthy and productive lives while maximising their contribution to national economic development,” states the report.
Furtado said one of the ways in which Botswana can reap the demographic dividend is through the provision of quality education and learning. “The World Bank is committed and ready to support reforms to the education sector so that Botswana can succeed in its transition to a knowledge-based economy and young Batswana have the skills necessary to lead successful and productive lives,” he said.
Botswana’s secondary education system is presently generating a large number of graduates who do not possess the skills necessary for economic development and growth. According to the latest data, 34 percent (87,000) of Botswana’s young graduates are presently unemployed. World Bank indicated that it is critical that the government of Botswana and other education stakeholders improve the quality of learning in Botswana’s public schools to ensure the nation’s future economic competitiveness.
World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim said the World Bank Group is already incorporating the key findings of the report into its operations. “We will continue to seek new ways to scale up our commitment to education and apply our knowledge to serve those children whose untapped potential is wasted. For example, we are developing more useful measures of learning and its determinants,” he said.
He said they are ensuring that evidence guides operational practice to improve learning in areas such as early-years interventions, teacher training, and educational technology. “We are making sure that our project analysis and strategic country diagnoses take into account the full range of system-level opportunities and limitations, including political constraints. And we will continue to emphasize operational approaches that allow greater innovation and agility,” said Kim.
According to the report education remains one of the best investments that government and citizens can make and helps countries develop the human capital that will end extreme poverty. Among the key factors highlighted to improve quality of education include assessment of schoolwork, promoting brain development and tailoring teacher training.