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Advocacy Meeting in Open Schooling, New Delhi, 9-13 September 2002 Report

  • List of the participants
  • Delegates of international organisation
  • Delegates from african countries


  • Botswana
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Malavi
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Somalia
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe
  • Swaziland
  • Valedictory session
  • Recommendations

List of participants

Honourable guests

  • Shri M.K.Kaw,
    Former Secretary to the
    Government of India
    Ministry of Human Resource Development,
    New Delhi (India).
  • Shri S.K.Tripathi,
    Secretary to the Government of India
    Ministry of Human Resource
    Development, Department of
    Secondary and Higher Education,
    New Delhi (India)

Director of the Meeting

  • Prof. N.K.Ambasht,
    National Institute of Open Schooling,
    B-31-B, Kailash Colony,
    New Delhi - 110048.

Delegates from International Orgnisations

  • Ms. Susan E Phillips,
    Education Specialist,
    The Commonwealth of Learning Vancouver,
  • Mr. Armoogum Parsuramen,
    Director, UNESCO-BREDA
    P.O.Box 3311
  • Prof. Asha Kanwar,
    12, Avenue Roume,
    P.O.Box 3311,
  • Mr M.Tawfik
    UNESCO (Delhi),
    New Delhi

Delegates from African Countries

  • Mr. M. Mazebedi,
    Principle Adult Education Officer
    Serowe Region
    Dept. of Non Formal Education
    Ministry of Education
    Gaborone , Botswana
  • Mr. Daniel Tau
    Botswana College of Open and Distance Learning
    Gaborone Botswana
  • Mr. Mequanint Ejigu,
  • Mr. BN Gachanja
    Deputy Director of Education (Secondary)
    Ministry of Education
    Nairobi, Kenya
    C/o Secretary General NATCOM for UNESCO, Kenya
  • Mr. Stanley Varioono Chamdimba
    Secondary Education
    Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
  • Mr. Samuel Mondlane
    Department of Distance Education, Head
    Ministry of Education
    Av. 24 de Julho, 167, P.O. Box 34
  • Dr. A. M. Tura
    Deputy Director (Secondary Education)
    Federal Ministry of Education
    Abuja, Nigeria
    C/o Nigeria National Commission for UNESCO
  • Dr. S Ibrahim
    National Open University of Nigeria
    245 Samuel Ademulegum Street
    Central Business District
    Abuja, Nigeria
  • Henry Ndede
    UNESCO-PEER Hargeisa
    P.O. Box 30592
  • Mr. S. S. Mkhonta
    Director of Edn, Ministry of Edn
    C/o Principal Secretary
    Ministry of Education
    P.O. Box 39
    Swaziland H100
  • Mr. Charles Philemon
    Assistant Director
    Secondary Education, Ministry of
    Education and culture
    P.O. Box 9121
  • Mr. Uma Agula Francis
    Principal Education Officer (Secondary Education)
    Ministry of Education and Sports
    Kampala, Uganda
  • Dr. Steven Mahere
    Deputy Director
    Quality Control
    In-charge Distance Education
    C/o TK Tsodzo Permanent Secretary



Botswana is a landlocked country at the centre of Southern Africa . The area of Botswana is 582,000 square kilometers with a population of 1.8 million (2001 census). Setswana and English constitute the official languages. However, English is widely used in business and all post primary education.

Educational Scenario

A fast growing economy and political stability since independence have helped the education system of Botswana to develop steadily to date. The first comprehensive education policy (The National Policy on Education) was adopted in 1977. The Revised National Policy on Education, whose emphasis revolves around quality of education, was adopted in 1994.

The key issues identified in the revised policy are:-

  1. Access and equity, given the prevailing imbalances between regions and genders in terms of access to educational opportunity.
  2. Effective preparation of students for life, citizenship and world of work.
  3. Development of training responsive and relevant to needs of economic development.
  4. Improvement and maintenance of quality of the education system.
  5. Improvement and maintenance of quality of the education system.
  6. Enhancement of the performance and status of the teaching profession.
  7. Effective management of the education system.
  8. Cost effective/cost sharing in financing of education.

The history of the open learning is as old as 1960. A project on Training of Elementary Teachers (1960-1965), proved the effectiveness of Distance Education as a viable alternative mode of education. The experiment was repeated in 1968-1973. Consequently Botswana Extension College (BEC) was set up in 1973. This was the first Secondary Level Correspondence School of the country. BEC under took massive literacy project in 1977-78. The Department of Non Formal Education replaced BEC in 1978.

The adoption of the Revised National Policy of Education led to the creation of Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) 1998. It is a semi-autonomous and statutory organization, set up through an act of parliament. BOCODOL and centre for continuing education of the university of Botswana , are now the lead agencies in Distance Education and Open Learning, BOCODOL with its Headquarter at Goborne, has five regional centres and fifty study centres.

Present Concerns

Botswana 's National Vision targets Education For All by 2016. The current policy developments in education towards the vision are:-

  1. Pre-school education is being formalized and integrated into the mainstream education.
  2. All Secondary Schools have been computerised with the view to bridging the existing digital divide.
  3. Following computerisation e-learning is to be integrated into the education system.
  4. National qualifications framework is in the offing.
  5. Tertiary Education Council is being established for regulation of higher education.
  6. Distance Education is receiving much more attention than was the case previously.

Open Schooling: Areas for Collaboration

Based on the country's presentation and the subsequent discussions during the Advocacy meeting some areas emerged wherein bilateral collaboration between India (NIOS) and Botswana may take place. UNESCO ( BREDA ) and COL may facilitate the envisaged collaborations.

1. Fine Tuning Present ODL Policy Framework

Notwithstanding the progress so for made, the current Open and Distance Learning system (ODL) needs to be subjected to a review.This review would help the country refine/fine-tune the existing Policy Framework. The exercise would ideally cover the following:-

  • Efficacy of current ODL infrastructure including providers
  • Regulatory mechanisms
  • ODL quality standards and Accreditation
  • Cost sharing in education and training
  • Cost sharing in education and training

COL, UNESCO and NIOS may help in fine-tuning the policy framework through the technical expertise.

2. Adoption of courses

BOCODOL is interested in adopting/adapting some of the vocational courses offered by NIOS.

These include:-

  1. Certificate in Computer Applications (CCA)
  2. Certificate in Desk Top Publishing (CDTP)
  3. Computer Technician Course
  4. Computer Awareness Course
  5. Secretarial Practice Course

These courses may be adopted in the form of ready made printed material as well as on License (copyright) basis. (Whichever is more economical)

In addition, a tailor-made course in Computer Applications for Teachers may also be developed with the help of NIOS for launching in Botswana following the recent computerisation of secondary schools.

3. Examinations

NIOS may help in improving and consolidating the examination system in respect of vocational education courses at BOCODOL as well as help in the development of a Blueprint for the Adult Basic Course to be implemented by the department of Non-formal education.

4. Curriculum Development for Adults (Basic Education)

Department of Non-Formal Education of Botswana is interested in improving the curriculum of Basic Education for Adults (standard 1-7). Life Skills/Pre-vocational components have been identified and it is now proposed to initiate development of curriculum and course material on each of then. Computer and Information technology components could also be included in the life skills. NIOS may help in this venture.

5. Training of ODL Functionaries

NIOS may undertake the training of different functionaries of ODL like Tutors, Facilitators and Centre Coordinators. The different areas for training may include curriculum development, evaluation strategies, conduct of examinations and management of study (Learning) centres.

6. Involvement of NGOs

Basic Education programme at NIOS involves a number of Non-government organisations (NGOs), Botswana may undertake a similar project with the guidance and assistance from NIOS.

Time frame For The Action Plan

The timeframe including details of the action plan would be decided further through mutual negotiations between BOCODOL, DNFE and NIOS. The negotiations may be facilitated by UNESCO (BREDA), COL and other concerned international agencies.

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