Information by Country

Botswana: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa with a total population of approximately 1.8 million people.  Since independence in 1966, Botswana has had a stable, democratic government, sound economic policies, and a strong education system.   Primary Net enrolment rate is around 85% and girls’ participation in primary school is almost equal to that of boys.

The challenge is improving learning outcomes and providing a gender-sensitive environment that encourages girls to stay in school.   HIV/AIDS pandemic is the most devastating emergency in the nation’s history.

Barriers to girls Education

• Sexual violence is on the increase as a result of the lack of respect for girls among their peers and adult men.

• Orphans and child-headed households are on the increase.  There are an estimated 65,000 children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.  It is estimated that a third of the children in Botswana will grow up without one or both parents.

• Social-cultural issues.   Girls are consistently discriminated against as their education continues to be viewed as less important than boys’.

• Early Pregnancy results in girls dropping out of school before completing school

Key initiatives for girls’ education

• Girls and Boys Education Movement (G-BEM) has disseminated the findings of a child-led human interest project called Telling The Story (TTS) project to 100 children representing categories of children across Botswana; resulting into the development of child-friendly, gender-sensitive criteria for Botswana schools.

• The regionally developed GEM manual was contextualised into Botswana’s G-BEM manual and was used to conduct the initial 40 G-BEM Training of Trainers (TOT).

• “Ringing the Bell” project manual was revised and aligned to the Ministry of Education’s curricular on Guidance and Counselling as well as HIV and AIDS.


Ministry of Education, Botswana Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (BONEPWA), University of Botswana,  young people, Girl Child Network, , Girls and Boys Education Movement (G/BEM), Community-based organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations in Ghanzi and Mahalapye.



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