Sunday, 27 April 2014
San Languages Botswana
Language, Education and Culture
The relationship between education and language and culture is very complex. It can either lead to total inhalation of minority ethnic groups or the elevation and self determination of those groups. Having the opportunity to be educated in a mother tong is self empowering and can be the biggest influence determining the future of any ethnic group. The following article sheds more light on this complex issue and give an indication how government policy is shaping the destiny of minority groups in Botswana, in this case the Bushmen. The article was published by SOGIP (Scale of Governance UN and Indigenous Peoples). Following are an abstract with the link to the article below:
"Botswana’s general approach to minorities, including the San, is assimilative. Botswana’s education and cultural policies are founded in the country’s strong anti-apartheid stance during its early decades of independence. Recognition of cultural and linguistic differences is still equated with the divisions of apartheid and with lack of access to mainstream institutions. Efforts to introduce minority languages in education or for other purposes have consistently been countered with the official argument that “we are all Batswana” and that it is against policy. The general position is that recognizing specific rights or needs of minorities will be divisive and unfair – either privileging or disadvantaging groups on ethnic grounds.
However, the government does recognize special needs based on circumstances, for example living in an area which is far from points of service provision. The Remote Area Development Programme (RADP), under the Ministry of Local Government, caters specifically for children from remote and impoverished communities (see also . There are no official figures illustrating the percentage of “Remote Area Dwellers” (RADs) who are San. However a common estimate is that more than 80 per cent of the RADS nationwide are San, and that this number approaches 100 per cent in some areas. The government of Botswana earmarks resources specifically to provide RAD children with the opportunity to attend government schools, including building and staffing hostels to accommodate children from remote areas."
You can find the full script here