A Multi-Sectorial Approach in Education for Equity, Social Inclusion and Empowerment in Botswana

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Social ills, including but by no means limited to HIV/AIDS, poverty, political instability , substance abuse, home based vio lence, school drop outs, teenage pregnancy, child neglect and abuse ha ve destabilised hitherto existing social networks, leading to an increase in vulnerable groups in many developing nations. These have necessitated national, international and global responses to miti gate these threats. One of the initiative s , which is of interest in this paper, is the Community Based Work with Children and Youth (CBWCY) Programme that was developed by the Regional Pyscho

Social Support Initiative (REPSSI) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in 2004. CBWCY is a certificate programme aimed at upgrading the knowledge , skills , attitudes, behaviours and abilities of caregivers who look after v ul nerable children and youth at the community level. Th is programme has been rolled out in eleven countries in the SADC region. In Botswana, the programme started in 2012 and it is being offered by the Botswana Open University (BOU) . Using desktop research and authors experience , this paper has looked at how multi sectorial approach to education necessitated equity, social inclusion and empowered the marginalized communiti es in Botswana. The approach includes the d evelopment of need based c urriculum by REPSSI and UNICEF, quality assurance of the pro gramme by the University of KwaZulu

Natal and the adoption of the program by BOU as a community service initiative . BOU lowered entry requirements to accommodate candidates who did not qualify to study at a university level and provided multiple learner support initiatives to assist students cope wi th studying . The g overnment of Botswana appreciated the value of psychosocial support by volunteers at community level and found it fitting to profe ssionalise the service. To this end, the government has provided funding for child care takers in hostels for children in remote area s to enrol for the programme // Paper ID 202

Social Inclusion,Empowerment,Formal Education