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Botswana looks to fast-track e-Learning strategy

Botswana’s has announced plans to get senior secondary schools ready for e-learning during the 2021/22 financial year.

The country’s Minister of Basic Education, Fidelis Molao told parliament that the government has partnered with various stakeholders, including the Botswana Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) and the Universal Access and Service Fund, to build and supply ICT infrastructure to connect schools to high-speed internet.

“We are currently working on a project to procure ICT devices for all learners and teachers in senior secondary schools in the current financial period, 2021/2022. The project is currently at the tender evaluation stage, and we hope that it will take off as soon as possible,” said Molao.

The Minister added that plans are in place to develop technical expertise and to source e-content towards e-learning.

"My ministry has embarked on a long-term capacity building plan that makes use of Trainers of Trainers (TOTs) who are stationed throughout the country for intensive online training, in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the Botswana Open University," said Molao.

The fast-tracked e-learning is part of the recently approved Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP), a roadmap expected to transform education and support ambitions to graduate the local economy from a resource to knowledge based economy.

Under ETSSP, the government intends to introduce multiple education pathways for learners to access higher education, which include e-learning at all levels.

The e-learning has also been dovetailed to other national projects which are SmartBots village connectivity and school digitalisation projects, where schools will be provided with 10-100 Mbps connectivity as universal Wi-Fi coverage for e-learning.

The ministry has started sharing e-learning sites that provide free lessons for the benefit of both teachers and learners on their social media platforms.

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