A Glimpse into Resources in Aid of Library and Information Service for the Emerging Distance Education: A Case of Botswana.

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // Distance education is not a recent phenomenon in Botswana. From the training of teachers to training and re-training of nurses and floating of other secondary and tertiary level courses, distance education in the country has come of age. The buildup of upgrading enrolled nurses (EN) to registered nursing (RN) by distance delivery system was a new fillip added to the venture in recent past. // In Botswana today, education is made available by distance mode to several individuals including the politicians, political and economic refugees, those affected by conflicts and also asylum seekers, among others. Thus in consonance with the belief that this learning mode can contribute to social stability and improve livelihood, training and knowledge is taken to the marginalized, isolated and underprivileged. Some examples can be seen in the efforts of such institutions as Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL), as well as the cross-border institutions. Consequent upon the emerging expansion of using open and distance learning in a range of situations and the opportunities it offers for all categories of people to improve themselves socially, politically and economically or widen access to learning opportunities, this paper notes the dispersal of distance learners in the country and taps into untapped resources that could be exploited to strengthen distance education. // As necessary ingredients to quality learning, the essential role of libraries in this form of education is discussed. The paper also takes a glimpse into a range of available resources that can be utilized to provide library and information resources and services to the emerging distance learners in Botswana. Discussed in the paper also are the application of appropriate technologies such as the liberalized telecommunications services including mobile telephony; the products of the licensed internet service providers (ISPs), private telecommunications networks (PTNs), as well as other ICT resources. // Paper ID 668