Early Childhood Education in Botswana: A Case of Fragmented “Fits”

Langtone Maunganidze, Marea Tsamaase

Abstract


Scholarly and institutional research on early childhood education is not a new phenomenon, but what is perhaps limited is extant literature that particularly focuses on revisiting current practices and their “dialogue” with the ever-changing environment that prevails especially in an African setting. The practices of providers of early childhood education are either simply “business opportunity seeking” responses to the new consumption patterns of more affluent parent (or guardian) or current global trends of child education preparation. There has been a phenomenal increase in the number of early child centres in recent years but with fragmented structures. However whether or not this will reduce possibilities of tensions between the macro and micro aspects of this kind of co-evolution is one of the questions this article seeks to address. It also investigates the fit between the internal structure and processes of early childhood centers and the external environment (national framework), focusing on the challenges and prospects of early childhood education. Buoyed by the Fit/Congruence model of organizational analysis, the paper is based on findings from a content analysis of media reports and desk review of policy documents from purposively selected centres based in Gaborone. The data is analyzed using a combination of the pattern model and analytic comparison methods. In Botswana, one of the observed missing links is the absence of national framework guiding the structure and content of early childhood curriculum and instruction. It concludes that while the approaches used in these centres are relatively not similar they may be complementary particularly to the extent to which they prepare the children for an exclusionary education system in a country whose long-term vision is ironically to achieve an equitable and quality education for all. Institutional initiatives at national level have been limited and unevenly distributed with wide differences in the quality of services and lack of coherence and coordination at micro-level.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ies.v7n5p1

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International Education Studies ISSN 1913-9020 (Print), ISSN 1913-9039 (Online)

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