Offer Children a Good Start in Education

Since 2013, the Roger Federer Foundation has been active in Botswana, where it has been strengthening marginalised indigenous San communities until today. The programme of the new strategy, which started in January 2019, aims to offer children from cultural and linguistic minority groups a good start in education. Furthermore, the programme includes the establishment of a national Child Development Monitoring System. As in all country strategies of the Roger Federer Foundation, the focus is on the transition from pre-school to (pre-)primary school, which is part of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG). This transition phase from a home or day-care environment to a formal pre-primary class at a primary school is highly sensitive and full of challenges for children, particularly for those who come from language minority communities. Children who grew up in such a community are experiencing a real culture shock when they enter formal school, as they hear the Setswana language (or English), which is officially spoken in school, for the first time in their life.

The School Readiness Initiative of the Roger Federer Foundation will therefore focus on this minority group of children. It will make sure that these children, too, are ready for school. Moreover, the initiative wants to ensure that schools are ready for the children. Part of the program are thus so-called Community Youth Cultures and Language Ambassadors who are best positioned to accommodate children coming from minority groups to formal school. They will help ensuring that these children have access to a culturally and linguistically sensitive pre-primary education. Furthermore, the initiative will introduce a user-friendly child monitoring system that will track the development and skills of the children and will respond to their individual needs. The system, based on its assessment data, will provide teachers with guidance on next steps for their teaching.

The board has approved a total budget of CHF 3,500,000 for the initiative that runs from January 2019 to December 2025. The program’s impact objectives are the following:

  • Establishment of a child development monitoring system at pre-primary age.
  • Increase in children’s participation in organized learning at least one year before they transition into primary school.
  • Increase in children who are developmentally on track at primary school entrance age.Decrease of repetitions and drop-outs in lower grades at school.

Implementing Partners

Bokamoso Trust

The «Letloa Trust» is the lead organisation of the Kuru Family of Organisations (KFO), a family of eight non-governmental organisations working in Botswana and South Africa. The «Bokamoso Trust» is one of them, focusing on education. Their goal is to empower the most vulnerable group of indigenous peoples in Southern Africa, the San, to take control of their own futures. The San are one of the most marginalised communities and San children’s integration in the formal education system is poor.

Kuru Family of Organisations (KFO)

Botswana Educational Research Association (BERA)

BERA was founded in 1982 and is registered as a non-governmental organization in Botswana. BERA’s main mandate is to carry out research on education related issues to inform decision making on policy formulation and improving practices in educational development, engage in consultancies, build research and evaluation capacity by training researchers and publish research products through Mosenodi Educational Journal. BERA members are stakeholders at all levels of education in Botswana and it draws expertise from across its membership, as required by specific projects.

BERA

Map

Botswana Facts

Population
2 Mio
San population
50000
Primary school enrolement ratio
87%
Pre-schools enrolment ratio
16.5% 
Adult illiteracy rate
17%
Drop out of San children in Ghanzi
55%

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