INTRODUCTION TO THE RESEARCH STUDY
Chapter one introduces the research which focuses on contribution of youth in Botswana economy; case of junior secondary school students who did not make it to senior secondary school. The research covers; background information, statement of the problem, research objectives, research questions, purpose of the study, significance of the study, limitation and delimitation, definition of terms and conclusion.
1.2 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The study has been necessitated by the need to find if youth contribute to their economy after finishing their junior certificate level. By analysing the number of students who seat for junior examinations every year, many of them fail their examinations and do not go to senior schools. The question is “what is being done about them?”
In the quarter century between 1966 and 1991, primary school enrolment increased from 72,000 to 287,000 and secondary school enrolment from 1900 to 60 000. Today in 1999 the figures stand at 340,000 and 152,000 respectively. Teacher training students’ stand at about 3000 and university students (full-time and part-time within Botswana) approach 8000 (parson, 1999). The goal of universal free education (up to junior secondary level) has been more or Youth form the largest single group of the population. No meaningful discussion of culture can ignore this age group, growing in numbers and experiencing the greatest challenges of transition, including unemployment. National development planning cannot be equitable unless the youth are taken into account. Yet, the youth, just like women, have been marginalised in previous national development plans (parsons, 1999). Even under National Development Plan 8, the role of youth in development remains unclear and undefined. In Botswana, the National Youth Policy, adopted in 1996, defines youth as the proportion of the population falling within the age range of 12 to 29 years. According to the 1991 Population Census, there were 475,443 young people, aged 12 to 29 years in Botswana, which was 36% of the country's population. Generally, Botswana is characterised by a youthful population, of which over 60% is below the age of 30 years. Young people in Botswana find themselves caught in the middle of the process of transition from traditional to modem society (Mazonde, p. 8). Parsons states that gradual breakdown of the extended family system, which formerly provided support and social guidance, has compounded the problems of young people. Furthermore, unemployment, low levels of education, health problems (including HIV/ AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases), and teenage pregnancy are some of the problems which confront youths. In 1981, the social category with the highest unemployment rate (about 26%) was young females within the 15 to 19 years age group. The same category rose to about 33% in 1984-85. In 1991 it rose further to 43% these statistics indicate a trend of unemployment among youth that has been steadily rising over the years. This explains why they should be at the heart of culturally-based development planning (Mazonde, p.8). Access by gender is about equal from primary through university (after the colonial experience of female excess over male), with the exceptions of primary teacher Education is, at least in theory, universal and free up to junior secondary level. Great leaps forward have been made in the quantitative provision of schooling. But old problems remain. Less than 10 per cent of children of school-going age are not in school. (Most have dropped out after a few years of education, to support their families economically: a few of the poorest children in the most "remote" western and north-western rural areas have never have been in school.). Meanwhile enrolments in urban areas are usually more than 100 per cent of age cohorts, reflecting pupils' repetition of school years (Parsons, 1999)....
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